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in the reign of Paul III., after seven years of labour and study. In the centre of the picture the Saviour is represented as in the act of condemning the wicked; on His right hand are the Virgin, saints, and martyrs; on the left are the condemned, being dragged to punishment by devils, while below are angels sounding the trumpets, and Charon sending out of his boat those he has just ferried across the Styx. “In the extreme corner, on the right, is the portrait of Messer Biagio of Cesena, whom Michael Angelo placed in hell and painted with asses' ears, for having criticised his work.”
The fresco has been much injured by the smoke of lamps used in the religious ceremonies, wbich, until a few years ago, were held here with great pomp, especially in Holy Week, when the Miserere was sung on three of the afternoons, and was famous throughout the world as the most effective thing in religious performances.
Among the wonders of the Vatican, are the Stanze of Raphael, each stanza (or room) containing some of the masterpieces of the great artist in fresco, commenced when he was in his twenty-fifth year; and all of them familiar to lovers of art by their reproduction in many
; forms. The Loggie of Raphael are open balconies round the courtyard of the Vatican, with arcades in which are pictures by the pupils of Raphael, painted from the designs and under the direction of the master.
In the picture-gallery are only a few works, but they are of world-wide celebrity, the most famous being Raphael's masterpiece, the Transfiguration_his last work, left unfinished at his death, the lower part being completed by Giulio Romano. When the great artist was laid in state, this picture was placed at the head of the bed, and was carried in the procession which accompanied his remains to the grave. This is said to be the finest picture in the world.
In the same room with the Transfiguration are two others, not only the gems of the Vatican collection, but among the finest works in existence-namely, the Communion of St. Jerome, by Domenichino-painted for the Ara Cæli, but, not being approved by the monks, consigned to a lumber-room until rescued by Poussin-and the Madonna da Foligno, by Raphael
Wonderful as are the pictures in the Vatican, the sculptures are not less so; the Apollo Belvedere is the chief glory of the collection—"a marvel of the unsurpassed excellence of the great sculptors of antiquity.” Here, too, is the famous group of Laocoon, the Mercury of the Belvedere, and a vast number of celebrated antiques. In the Museo Chiaramonti alone, the collection comprises thirty sections containing upwards of seven hundred sculptures in marble.
The library possesses twenty-four thousand MSS. and about fifty thousand printed books; the Etruscan and Egyptian Museums are full of antiquities both rich and rare ; and the tapestries of Raphael, executed from the cartoons which are now in the South Kensington Museum, are marvellous, even in their decay.
Returning again to the Piazza del Popolo, let us now follow the Corso—the principal street in Rome, upwards of a mile in length—in the line of the ancient Flaminian Way. As we pass along we shall notice the handsome shops, and, if it be towards evening, the ceaseless throng of pedestrians and the string of carriages filling up all the roadway.
Almost every house in the Corso has a balcony; many have balconies over balconies on every storey; and in the time of the Carnival, when the road is strewn with sand for the horse-race which concludes the festival, every balcony is filled with eager spectators, and the effect is remarkably striking.
The Corso in ancient times connected the Capitol with the Via Flaminia, and was spanned by four triumphal arches, all of which have disappeared ; now it leads only to the Piazza di Venezia, stopping short at no great point of historical interest, instead of leading, as it should, to the very steps of the Capitol.
The Corso, and the streets to the right and left of it, abound in studios, and are full of memorials of artists and authors, living and dead. Here is the studio of John Gibson, close by an unfinished work of Michael Angelo; at No. 18, Goethe lived and wrote while in Rome ; here Thomas Crawford modelled his “Flora”; here, where bas-reliefs are in the wall, Canova wrought. At No. 151 is the house of Bernini, with a statue of Truth in the entrance.
At intervals along the Corso there are interesting modern churches and public buildings, and, here and there, traces of ancient works and memorials of ancient times. In the Via dei Pontefici, to the right of the Corso, are the ruins of the Mausoleum of Augustus, now used as an open-air circus! It was founded by Augustus in the year 28 B.C., and here were buried Marcellus, son of Octavia, the sister of Augustus ; Marcus Agrippa, his son-in-law; Octavia, his sister, whose body was carried to the tomb by Tiberius, afterwards Emperor. Here, in A.D. 14, the body of the great Augustus was burnt on so huge a pyre that his widow, Livia, watched it for five days and nights before it was cool enough to collect the imperial ashes. Germanicus ; Drusus, son of Tiberius; Livia, the widow of Augustus; the Emperors Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nerva—all were buried in this place, where an open-air circus amuses the young Romans of to-day. The Mausoleum was rifled by Alaric in A.D. 409; then it was turned into a fortress, and finally it fell into ruin, but in 1354 it once more became the
scene of another cremation, when the body of Rienzi, the great Tribune, was brought here, after hanging for two days in front of the Church of St. Marcellus, and was burnt in a fire of dry thistles till it was reduced to ashes.
Passing the Church of S. Carlo, the national church of the Lombards, the Via Fontanella leads to the magnificent Palazzo Borghese, containing the best private collection of pictures in Rome, and interesting as the residence of members of the Borghese family from the time of the great Borghese Pope, Paul V. Close by the Palazzo Bernini, to which we have already referred, is the Church of S. Lorenzo, containing the tomb of Nicholas Poussin and the celebrated Crucifixion, by Guido Reni, said by Robert Browning to be “second to nought observable in Rome.” At the corner of the Piazza Colonna is the magnificent Palazzo Chigi, and in the centre of the square is the fine Antonine Column, covered from base to summit with bas-reliefs representing the conquests of the Marcomanni; while at the back of the Piazza Colonna is the Piazza di Monte Citorio, wherein is situated the Chamber of Deputies to the Italian Parliament, the centre of the piazza being occupied by an obelisk brought from Heliopolis by Augustus.
Turning out from the Corso, where it has been widened, and is called the Piazza Sciarra -after the Palazzo Sciarra-Colonna, the handsomest palace in the Corso,—the Fountain of Trevi, the grandest of the many fountains in Rome, is reached. It is a mass of statuary and artificial rock, and the water, which is supplied by the Aqua Virgine, first brought into Rome by Marcus Agrippa, is the brightest and most wholesome and refreshing in the city, and comes rushing and tumbling over ledges of rock and from the mouths and nostrils of stone monsters in prodigious quantities, pouring itself into a huge marble basin—"an artificial lake, on which a boat might float and make mimic voyages.” The background of the fountain is a great palace-front with niches in which are statues of Felicity, Salubrity, and the Four Seasons, and bas-reliefs; and in the centre below, is the mammoth figure of Oceanus on a car drawn by two sea-horses and led by Tritons.
A series of churches is to be found in this neighbourhood; one, the Church of the Caravita, belonging to the Jesuits, and noted for its horrible Lenten "flagellation” services; another, the Church of S. Marcellus, on the site of the house before which the body of the Tribune, Rienzi, after his murder on the steps of the Capitol, was hung up by the feet for two days as a mark for the rabble to throw stones at. But the most interesting of all is the Church of Santa Maria in Via Lata, said to be built upon the site of “his own hired house ” in which St. Paul "dwelt two whole years.” “It was here that he converted Onesimus, that he received the presents of the Philippians bought by Epaphroditus; it was here that he wrote to Philemon, to Titus, to the inhabitants of Philippi and of Colosse; it was here that he preached devotion to the Cross with that glowing eagerness, with that startling eloquence which gained fresh power from contest and which inspiration rendered sublime.” It was here
. that his friends and disciples came-Onesiphorus of Ephesus, Epaphras of Colosse, Timothy, Hermas, Aristarchus, Marcus, Demas, and Luke, the beloved physician. Three rooms in the present basement of the church are shown as the actual rooms in which he taught and ministered, and it is stated that in this house also St. Luke wrote the Acts of the Apostles and painted a portrait of the Virgin Mary.
Near to this church is the Collegio Romano, formerly under the superintendence of the Jesuits, containing the Kircherian Museum, in which, among many Christian antiquities, Roman coins, and curiosities, is a piece of a wall discovered on the Palatine, in one of the chambers occupied as guard-rooms by the Prætorian troops. It is a caricature, roughly scratched, of a human figure nailed to the cross, with the head of an ass, and hy the side two men in the attitude of worship, while underneath is a rude, mis-spelt and ungrammatical inscription, “ Alexamenos prays to his god.” It is just such a work as might be done to-day by streetboys in times of political or religious agitation, and there can be no doubt that this is a caricature by one of the Prætorian guard ridiculing the faith of a Christian comrade.
Passing the enormous Palazzo Doria, and the almost equally enormous Palazzo Colonna —both containing wonderful treasures of art-and only glancing at the Church of the Santi Apostoli-namely, St. Philip and St. James the Less, whose traditional graves are here, we
reach the end of the Corso, known as the Ripresa dei Barberi on account of the horses which run in the races during the Carnival being caught here in large folds of drapery let down across the street to prevent their dashing themselves to pieces against the opposite wall. Here the vast Palazzo di Venezia, the residence of the Austrian Ambassador, intervenes, and in order to reach the Capitol we must make our way through unimportant side-streets.
There is one shop in the Corso which ought to set every one thinking who sees It is a Depôt of the Bible Society—the whole window filled with copies of the Italian version of the Scriptures, spread open, one at this page and one at another, so that he who runs may read. Here the whole of the New Testament may be purchased for less than threepence, and a separate Gospel for less than a penny. It is not many years since that a Bible was a perilous possession in Rome. Prior to the Italian occupation no assembly of heretic was permitted within the city ; now there is a considerable number of Protestant places of worship, with schools attached, where children are taught from the Scriptures.
In glancing thus roughly at only a few of the many objects of interest in a walk along the Corso, it will be obvious that they crowd upon us in a manner which renders description in detail quite impossible. And not the Corso alone, but almost every street in Rome has churches, galleries, and public buildings which are full of interest to artist, archæologist, historian, and general student.
Five minutes' walk from the Corso—the gayest street of modern Rome—we stand on the threshold of ancient Rome, among the ruins and reminiscences of classical antiquity.
Three approaches lead to the Capitoline Hill: to the right, a winding road; to the left, the flight of one hundred and twenty-five steps leading to the Church of the Ara Cæli; and in the middle, asphalte stairs. Ascending these, some water-spouting lions are passed ; statues of the sons of Constantine adorn the balustrade; the first ancient milestone of the Appian Way is seen, and at the summit are the celebrated groups of Castor and Pollux. The piazza at the head of this stairway is the Piazza del Campidoglio—the Intermontium, where Brutus addressed the populace after the murder of Julius Cæsar. In the centre is the famous bronze statue of Marcus Aurelius—once standing in the Forum near the Arch of Septimius Severus—the “most majestic representation of the kingly character the world has ever seen,” according to Hawthorne, and the only perfect ancient equestrian statue in existence. Beyond this statue is the Palace of the Senators, with handsome flights of steps on either side designed by Michael Angelo, and in the centre a fountain with river gods and a sitting statue of Minerva as Rome. In the Campanile is the great bell of Viterbo, which is only rung to convoke the Senators, and to announce the opening of the Carnival and the death of a Pope. This Palace occupies one side of the piazza, and the other two sides are filled by the Palazzo dei Conservatori on the left, or west, and the Capitoline Museum of Sculpture on the right, or east. It is in the latter that the world-famed “Dying Gladiator,” the Venus of the Capitol, the “Boy extracting a Thorn from his Foot;" the bronze Wolf, said to be the wolf described by Cicero as having been struck by lightning; the Antinous of the Capitol; the Faun of Praxiteles, on which the story of “Transformation” by Hawthorne is founded, and many other celebrated works of art are to be found; while in the Palace of the Conservatori are the Protomoteca—a suite of eight rooms filled with busts of eminent Italians—and the picture gallery.
Standing on the height of the Capitol, we have on one hand the Tarpeian Rock, and on