John Chetwode Eustace.

A classical tour through Italy, an. MDCCCII (Volume 1) online

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hierarchy in that kingdom are quite equal
in wickedness to all that is depicted in
the author's travelling guide, Mrs. Radcliffe;
but he will be surprised after these enter-
taining conclusions to be told the indis-
putable fact, that the laws of the Neapo-
litan, are so unlike our English liberal
regulations, as to impose forfeiture of his
see upon the bishop who shall not constant-
ly reside within his diocese ; that more-
over even sickness is not admitted an ex-
cuse for non-residence, and that conse-
quently no bishop except the cardinal
archbishop, who we hope is not here


alluded to, can live in Naples or let

In the same volume we have a com-
parison of the dimensions of St. Peter's,
as given by Mr. Eustace, with what the
author of course considers more correct
admeasurements. These however are ex-
ceedingly difficult to ascertain ; but from
a careful revisal of Bonanni and other au-
thorities, we see no reason to alter those
given, Vol. II. 150. The height being taken
from the pavement of the church which
inside the dome is 330 feet. Those as-
signed to St. Paul's are within a few feet
except the two last. It may suffice to re-
mark that the latter covers two acres, the
former more than five ; that cutting off the
ball and cross, the whole dome of one
might be included within that of the other,
and that the vestibule of the Roman is
wider than the nave of the London Ca-
thedral, of which the three aisles, that is,

VOL. I, d


the building within the walls is precisely
the width of the nave of St. Peter's, this
(by actual admeasurement) is 90 feet; the
width of the nave of St. PauFs is 40, in
height we believe about 90. The accounts
of St. Peter's, its architects, and even di-
mensions are so various and contradictory,
that we have thought proper to make a few
cursory observations ; not so much with
the intention of adding to, as to clear the
subject from unreal criticism.

While Julius II. was yet a cardinal,
he appears to have had a strict intimacy
with and friendship for Juhano Giamberti,
a Florentine architect patronized by the
Medici, and who received from a monas-
tery he erected at Florence the surname
of San Gallo.

Soon after the elevation of Julius to the
pontificate, he resolved to rebuild St. Peter's
upon a scale surpassing all other earthly
edifices ; and to the end that the beauty of
the structure should equal the vastness of


his ideas, he received various designs tor

the projected building. He preferred the
plan of Bramante, while his old friend-
ship inclined him to associate the two
architects in carrying that design into exe-
cution ; but San Gallo in disgust retired
to Florence.

The latter had previously recommended
his friend and countryman M. Angelo Bo-
naroti to the pontiff; he was now employed
upon the tomb of Julius. He passed the
most severe censures upon the successful
plan, of which the author had strengthened
his interests by the assistance of a young
countryman and relation, whose talents
justified his presentation to Julius. This
was Raphael ; Bramante and Raphael on
the one hand ; Julian San Gallo and Mi-
chel Angelo on the other, beheld each
other with rivalry, if not with national
enmitv *.

* The contrast of character between Raphael and
Michel Angelo. presents one of the most striking features


With the death of Braniante the care
of St. Peter's devolved upon Raffaello ; but

in the biography of art. The former, born in 1483, was nine
years younger than the latter. His Entombment of Christ,
at twenty, had surpassed the most successful efforts of his
master, the greatest painter of the day, and placed him upon
a height from which he seems destined never to descend.
The life of Michel Angelo has been detailed by a friend,
he has found an eulogist in the partialities of a countryman.
The amiable qualities of Raphael are so unequivocally
stamped upon all his works, that we need no other biogra-
pher. He was the nutnen which inspired every youth placed
under its influence, and enabled the artist to leave for our
admiration more than the shortness of his career would seem
to permit. Surrounded by his pupils he painted in the face
of day ; his study was open to all comers, while the pre-
sence and approving smile of woman seems to have been
almost necessary to his exertions and existence.

The first great work of Michel Angelo was the ceiling
of the Sixtine chapel : his resolution was to surpass his co-
temporaries ; he dismissed his pupils, and for twenty months
sufl^ered no human being to approach his labors. He hardly
escaped blindness. The recorded conversation oi Raphael
is distinguished, like his manner, by a gentlemanlike fedling
which seems the birth of a later age; his observations were
of kindness to his friends. The replies of Michel Angelo
are vituperative of his rivals. The latter may be compared
to the Old Testament; the former seems to have sought a
model in the New. The one condemned his enemies to the
society of the damned ; the other exalted his friends to the
company of the philosophers and sages of antiquity.

The women of Michel Angelo may be " moulds of
generation ; " but those of Raphael are the mistresses of our


the new pope, Leo X. obliged his country-
man San Gallo to return, and with a third
to form a commission of architects. San
Gallo, too old for active exertion, recom-
mended his nephew Antonio, with whom,
upon the early death of Raphael, Leo
placed Peruzzi as a more experienced col-
league; but the ensuing troubles allowed
no funds for execution though they afford-
ed leisure for design, and this was prin-
cipally directed to the saving of expense.
With this view Peruzzi recommended the
Greek cross. His death left uncontrolled
San Gallo, who with returning tranquillity

affections, and exalt our nature even to idolatry. The chil-
dren of the former may " teem with the man/' but who
shall describe the intelligence beaming in the countenances
of the boys of Foligno. The Transfiguration of Raphael
displays the divinity of Christ, and teaches the lesson of
faith. It was reserved to the perverse genius of his rival to
depict the Son of God in the act of cursing man, and the
Saviour of the human race reels from his hands the terrible
minister of divine vengeance. — He sits, according to Vasari ;
but stands, according to others. It will be difficult for the
unlearned spectator to agree with either one or the other.


swelled the projected church to nearly its
original extent as designed by his master
Bramante; adhering to the Greek cross he
added a pronaos nearly as large as our
church of St. Paul's; two towers of equal
height with the central cupola flanked
the entrance, and the whole exhibited a
stupendous pile of pillared but almost
gothic magnificence. Since Bramante, who
had completed the four great arches to sup-
port the dome, thirty-two years had elapsed,
and the building had made scarcely per-
ceptible progress ; for the interim had been
principally employed in strengthening his
masses. The death of San Gallo now left
the superintendance to Michel Angelo, who
at seventy-two unwillingly entered upon
restricted functions which perhaps a con-
ciliatory disposition would have secured to
his extraordinary talents long before.

The extent of the cupola could not be
altered, and the ground plan was so far
chalked out as to leave little to be de-


parted from. The new architect had al-
ways censured all the preceding designs as
visionary, and his views were principally
directed to form one of which the execution
would employ less time, and entail more rea-
sonable expense. The original design of
Bramante would have covered 350,000
square feet, or about eight and a half Enghsh
acres; it was reduced by Peruzzi to 280,000,
swelled again by San Gallo to 320,000,
curtailed by Michel Angelo to 180,000,
and finished by Maderni at 240,000. Our
own St. Paul's covers about 86,600 feet.

The great alteration made by Michel
Angelo was in curtailing a series of aisles
behind the ends of the transepts and choir,
and in cutting off eight chapels opening
under the present four smaller cupolas, each
of which chapels would have been more
than fifty feet square. It is a common
error to suppose that he designed a portico
like the Pantheon, which had not been yet .
weeded and brought into notice. The


front of that architect scarcely differed in
geometrical elevation from that now exe-
cuted. A gallery for papal benediction
was required, and the columns now stick to
the wall ; whereas Michel Angelo's design
brought them out in a tetrastyle portico,
surmounted by the same hideous attic,
and forming a tottering mass, of which the
elevation was double the width of the por-
tico; supposed because the columns were
insulated, to imitate the glorious architec-
ture of Agrippa*.

The design of Michel Angelo being
perfected by his successors, Vignola and

* Had the design of Michel Angelo for tlie poitico been
followed, we should have had in the two great cathedrals of
Christendona two memorable monuments in defiance of the
dictates of common sense. The gallery, an absolute necessity
for the imposing ceremony of papal benediction at St. Peter's,
would have been omitted ; while St. Paul's exhibits to this
day that conveniency useless to a protestant church. The
image of the Virgin, put up at Oxford in a repair by Laud,
formed an article in his impeachment : we are only surprised
this feature in the church of London was not turned against
Charles and James, as indicative of their intention to restore
catholic superstition.


Jacopo della Porta, with the exception
of the front, Paul V. on his elevation re-
solved to extend the plan more upon the
principle of the original design of Bra-

For the more clearly understanding the
intention of Bramante's plan, reference may
be made to that of St. Paul* fuori le mura,
which the ancient Si. Peter's very much re-
sembled. The centre of the ancient absis
was fixed upon as the centre of the pro-
jected dome; a great portion of the new
building was consequently erected upon
new ground, but the long arm of the Latin
cross included the whole of the sacred pre-
cincts. The plan of Michel Angelo in
shrinkino- to the Greek cross had excluded
nearly one-third of the length of the nave,
and had shut out many sites ranked
amongst the most holy of the ancient edi-
fice, and with them the Sixtine chapel, as

* Vol. II. 116.


well as the shrine of the Sudario, per-
haps the relic most revered of the catholic

For the purpose of including these, a
competition of architects was established.
The design of Maderni, nephew to Fon-
tana, who assisted Jacopo della Porta in
raising the dome, was chosen f-.

* The ceremony of exhibiting this rehc to the congrega-
tion at Easter has given occasion to one of Mr. Forsyth's
most admired turns. " The priest on the balcony mifolded
the real handkerchief impressed, as he said, with the original
features of Christ ; but the abdicated king of Sardinia, who
was then kneeling below, seemed to think his own sudarium
the genuine relic of the two." We by no means wish to
dispute the profundity of the author's penetration, but we
cannot imagine that his majesty had any such thoughts; for
he must have known that his relic, the sindone, or supposed
winding-sheet, was much too large to have ever been carried
about by Sta. Veronica as a pocket handkerchief.

-f He is " hit off" as a wretched plasterer by Mr. For-
syth ; who thus blindly copying Fontana, seems totally un-
conscious of having begun the page by deciding his vestibule
to be an architectural picture which no engraving can flatter,
and who proceeds to finish it by eulogizing his nave as in-
finitely grand and sublime without the aid of obscurity !

It is not generally remarked, that the first church of the
Christian world fronts the east ; the pope consequently faces
the door of the church when he celebrates mass.


The great objection urged to Maderni's
prolonged nave, and consequently applying
also to that of Bramante, is that it breaks
the unity of the plan. The cupola, which be-
fore canopied the whole, now crowns only
a part, and the effect is too gradual, with
the approach of the spectator ; but this is
easily remedied by passing round to the
entrance on the side of the sacristy
which affords the means of access im-
mediately under the glories of the dome,
while the grand vestibule may be resorted
to by those who admire the lengthened ap-
proach of the first architect. It may admit
of a doubt whether the plan of Antonio
San Gallo did not combine both these ob-
jects with superior skill and effect*.

' The elliptical cupolettas are said by Mr. Forsyth " to
be mere expedients to palliate the detect of Maderui's aisles,
which depend on them for light ; " but all the light is re-
ceived from the six windows in the nave, assisted by others
in the aisles. He also says, that the roses of the ceiling
have fallen in ruins from the deeper lacunaria, and remain
only where the relief is low : this, as well as the remains of


Maderni was succeeded by Bernini, un-
der whom the relation of the former, Bor-
romini, acted ; but his success superinduced
the enmity of the Cavahere, who charged
him with corrupting the taste of the day ;
while the ingenuity of the architectural de-
ception in the Palazzo Spada vindicates
the skill of Borromini, and excited his rival
to attempt a similar effect with less success
but more magnificence, in the Scala Regia.

Having enlarged to perhaps an unne-
cessary extent upon the alleged defects of
the Classical Tour, as advanced by those
who have allowed themselves to impute
even unworthy motives to its author,
we now proceed to correct, and observe
upon, those which have escaped general

the paragraph including the puff of Braschi, is totally mis-
taken ; the lacunaria without roses have never yet contained
that ornament. We hardly know what he can mean by the
middle orb of the vault ; but the arms of the respective popes
have been invariably placed to mark the works done under
their pontificate. Pius gilded the vault.


We believe that freedom from error
falls to the lot of few ; and although some
more recent works profess to contain no-
thing more than the observations made
upon the spot, we know of no book of
travels, however much it may insist upon
this as a merit, that does not bear strong
internal evidence in contradiction to such
pretensions. We pronounce it to be the
duty of an author to avail himself of former
notices ; and the man who, living next
door to information, sits down to discuss
the merits of the Athenian sculpture, and
calmly declares that he does not know
whether Lord Elgin's collection contained
any part of the Parthenon frieze, should
at any rate apologize to his country readers
for not giving himself the trouble to in-

It may possibly be the good fortune
of some future traveller to supply the world
with more information in four octavo vo-
lumes than Mr. Eustace has done : but


until that individual comes forward, we
must beg to vuidicate to our author his sta-
tion as a traveller ; we must beg to declare,
that until that day arrives he must stand
second to no one.

The magnificent tazza alluded to, Vol. I.
383, and II. 37, in the Campo Vaccino,
has been removed to the Monte Cavallo,
and there forms the basin of the fountain
at the feet of the celebrated statues brought
from Alexandria by Constantine. They
are well known to be inscribed with the
names of Phidias and Praxiteles, and were
removed from the baths of Constantine to
their present situations by the command
of that extraordinary Pontiff* Sixtus V.
Pius VI. turned them at right angles to
each other, and placed between them an
obelisk nearly 50 feet high of red granite*.

* This obelisk is of the same dimensions with that nt^ar
the church of Santa JMavia Maggiore, They were brought


The angle formed by the three pedestals
was adorned by the present Pope with the
tazza in question ; it is of Oriental granite,
and measures 26 feet across the rim.

The propriety of the appellation of
the grotto of the nymph Egeria is doubted.
Livy, as quoted, Vol. II. 217, says, " ex
opaco specu fons :" surely this is authorit}^
sufficient for a cave whence the water
flowed. Mr. Eustace has mistaken the
mutilated statue for a female ; it is evi-
dently male, and it is singular that any
doubt could ever have existed. Yet La-
lande also remarks, " paroit plutot une fi-
gure d'homme que celle de la nymphe;"
and Forsyth says, " it passes for Egeria."
There remaining only six niches does not
prove there never were nine.

to Rome by Claudius to adorn the mausoleum of Augustus,
near which they were both found. The length of the stone
is as stated above. Mr. Eustace, Vol. II. 106, says 60 feet,
which includes the cross, &c.


The temple oF Vesta at Tivoli, Vol. II.
232, is a specimen of the Corinthian, which
was singular in its detail until the dis-
covery of Pompeii, where the same cha-
racter is given to that order, constructed
of a similar porous material, and made
out in like manner by means of stucco,
which seems to have been composed by
the same hand. Mr. Forsyth's criticism
upon this temple turns upon the niche,
which is a mere scoop in the wall, painted
with saints, and so evidently barbarous as
to have nearly caused the ruin of the whole
edifice !

With reference to the vase in the ca-
thedral of Gaieta*, mentioned Vol. II. 314,

* The governor of this fortress could not feel much in-
debted to Mr. Forsyth, who goes out of his way no less than
three times to record that his brother, Sir John Acton, rose
from a barber. His Enghsh baronetcy dates from 1G44.


considerable ridicule has been thrown upon
our author by some who have represented
that he overlooked the anchor of Hope in
the hand of Athamas, and the cross held by
Faith ; while Charity with the child he was
supposed to have mistaken for Ino, and
the Saviour kneeling to be baptized with
John, for Bacchanals. The vase described
by Mr. Eustace had been removed in the
interim between his visit and that of this in-
quiring observer to the Museum at Naples,
and its place supplied by a more appro-
priate font sculptured for the purpose.

The hall wherein is the painting of
Leonardo da Vinci representing the Last
Supper, at the period of Mr. Eustace's
visit was used as a store-room for artillery,
and he probably had not access to view
the picture. Mr. Forsyth also says, " it
was shot at wantonly by the Sclavonians,
who were lately quartered there."' The
Viceroy Eugene raised the floor three feet

VOL. I. e


the room being very damp, replaced the
roof, and repaired the whole, as an in-
scription still allowed to remain over the
entrance records ; and the lovers of art will
rejoice to hear that the picture has re-
ceived no more injury than time and the
nature of the materials employed have

To the second and subsequent Edi-
tions of the Classical Tour is subjoined
a Postscript, furnished to Mr. Eustace
by a friend; it comprises a short account
of the excavations made by the French
around the ancient monuments, and the
consequent discoveries ; subsequent re-
search by the ambassador of France and
her grace the Duchess of Devonshire have
added to this information, as well as con-
fiVmed or negatived the conjectures of the


writer. We shall shortly pass them in


This column rises from a pedestal which
is placed upon a pyramidal basement of
steps. Upon the pedestal is an inscrip-
tion which informs us that it was erected
by the Exarch Smaragdus 608, and sus-
tained a gilded statue of the Emperor
Phocas Avhose name had been erased, it
is imagined, by his successor Heraclius. —
The repaired inscription reads :


















It is placed at the foot of the dechvity
from the Capitol, below the arch of Se-
verus. The French were contented to dig
to the base of the pedestal, and then spe-
culated upon its high and inexplicable
level. The Duchess of Devonshire exca-
vated to the ancient pavement, laid open
the steps, and shewed that it was seven feet
lower than the triumphal arch alluded to.


The excavations here are highly curious.
The building is evidently placed upon the
site of some more ancient edifice, of which
the better executed brickwork may be ob-


served in the foundations running obliquely
across the hne of its walls, while a portion
of the ancient way of basaltic pavement
still remains, pursuing the same direction.
This vast hall measures about two hundred
and seventy by eighty-two feet. It was
almost precisely similar in dimensions and
decoration with the great saloon in the
baths of Dioclesian, and like it the ceiling
was supported by eight gigantic columns,
except that the material was here of white
marble instead of granite. This hall opened
by three arches on each side into two
aisles. The entrance to the building was
by means of a low vestibulum at one end
of the saloon, towards the Coliseum, or
east; at the other end is a semicircular
recess or tribunal. The external wall of
the north aisle was pierced by six arches in
two tiers under each of the three orreat
openings connecting it with the nave ; but
the centre of these three divisions had


undergone an alteration apparently in the
progress of the work, and its straight wall
was thrown out into a semicircular tribune,
with a half cupola ceihng, like that before
alluded to at the west end, opposite the
original entrance : and this change seems
to have been made in consequence of an
alteration in the approach; for although
the south aisle no longer remains, yet the
excavations have laid open a flight of steps
and foundations of a portico of entrance in
the centre of this south side of the building.
We presume not to speculate upon the
original destination of this edifice ; it has
been called the Temple of Peace; it is
now by some considered to be the Basilica
of Constantine*. We can only say, that it

* A great hall of this precise shape and eveo dimensions
seems to have been repeated in all the baths, and was pro-
bably the pinarotheca for the reception of works of art, or
perhaps also included the library. In the baths of Cara-
calla is a second hall of equal size, which from the different


is very unlike our ideas of the form of
either of these species of building. We
have before stated its similarity to the great
hall of the baths of Dioclesian. It was
entered from the sacred way which ran
close to it ; but could have had no subor-
dinate apartments by reason of its confined

construction of its ceiling ' is presumed to be the Cella So-
learis, mentioned by Spartianus, who states that the archi-
tects of his time were unable to explain the scientific con-
trivance of its arched ceiling, of which the framing of brass
lattice work, we conjecture, may have resembled the inter-
lacing of a sandal latchet, and thus have suggested the name
given to the hall, which appellation is absurdly imagined
by one author to have arisen from its being the room for the
slippers of the bathers, and by another to have contained
a throne for the Emperor. But it is useless to enlarge upon
the obscure architectural criticisms of ancient writers in a
barbarous age, when we find even those of our own time
and language so far from intelligible. There is another

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