History of Art (Wilhelm Lübke)  

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"The Revolution made an end to the ancien régime, and Fragonard, who was so closely allied to its representatives, left Paris in 1793 [...] he died in 1806, neglected and almost forgotten. For half a century or more he was so completely ignored that Lübke, in his history of art (1873), omits the very mention of his name.--Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition

"Jean Honore Fragonard (1732-1806) was taught in the atelier of Boucher and in Rome until 1765. In his hands art degenerates into an uncurbed lascivious play, which, however, was found compatible with serious technical achievement. It is significant enough of the taste prevailing recently in Paris for fine art considered by itself and without regard to subject, that these representatives of a fashionable art which was forgotten in the strenuous time of the Revolution, have obtained a new prominence. Side by side with this, however, another tendency held its own, which led to the depicting of the life of simple domestic circles in cozy family scenes. This art, proceeding from Dutch genre painting, but laying stress upon bringing into relief the virtuous and touching traits, perhaps not quite unintentionally, is represented especially by Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin (1699-1779) and Jean Baptiste Greuze (1725-1805), whose kindred descriptions, although inclining to sentimentality, are full of pictorial charm and still hold their own; while Chardin made a specialty of genial domestic scenes, and Greuze adopted the same field, though the latter has a tendency to sentimentalism in his paintings, charmingly picturesque as they are."--Grundriß der Kunstgeschichte (c. 1860), volume 2 by Wilhelm Lübke

"While the fantastic taste of the time led some Dutch artists to such grotesquely horrible pictures of devils and infernal scenes as those of a Hieronymus Bosch (a masterpiece of this class is in the Museum at Berlin), the growing tendency toward simple delineation of real life induced other artists to take up new fields of work which were destined to a great future. It was Joachim Patenier, or Patinir (1490-15150), who for the first time made the background — always such a favorite subject of treatment with the Netherlanders — the most important part of the picture, giving the sacred story a merely subordinate position, and so became the founder of the modern Northern school of landscape painting. In his pictures, however, the predilection for variety, richness, and brilliancy preponderates, which, at times, he counterbalances by a rather monotonous, blue-green color- ing. This innovation of his was tal<en up still more decidedly by his contemporary, Herri de Bles, and prepared for further development; and thus the painting of the Netherland school, where left to follow its own devices, ends in a half-austere, half-fantastic realism."--History of Art (c. 1860), volume 2 by Wilhelm Lübke

"We find this superb style penetrating far into Hungary and Siebenbiirgen ; and only the mountain-line of the Transylvanian Alps has established a barrier between the Romanesque and the Byzantine art. The masterpiece of Hungarian architecture is the Church of St. Jak."--History of Art (c. 1860) by Wilhelm Lübke

"In the intricate complexity of things around him, man strives after a knowledge of the general laws which shall bring them into an harmonious connection. Only by the assurance of the deep necessity for such a connection can he calmly and clearly survey the apparent arbitrariness of the separate parts, and perceive, in the successive phases of life afforded by the history of mankind, a progressive development of the ideas and spiritual facts underlying them. If anywhere indispensable, this is especially so in the realm of art, as in its works the character of nations and of centuries is sensibly manifested. The question, therefore, of the origin of art, confronts us at once."--History of Art (c. 1860) by Wilhelm Lübke

{{Template}} Grundriß der Kunstgeschichte is a book on art history by Wilhelm Lübke (1860; thirteenth edition, 1899–1907; English translation, under the title Outlines of the History of Art by Clarence Cook, 1878, and reëdited by Russell Sturgis, New York, 1904)


  • Grundriss der Kunstgeschichte: Die Kunst des Mittelalters [1]

Full text of "Outlines of the history of art", volume 2[2]

Full text of "Outlines of the history of art", volume 1[3]

Electrotyped and Printed by Rand, Avery, and Covipany, Boston.


The present work is much esteemed in Germany, as is proved by the fact, that, since its first pubHcation in i860, it has gone through seven editions. In England, also, where a translation from an early German edition has been made by Miss F. E. Bunnett, the work has enjoyed a considerable popularity. The American pub- lishers at first intended to reprint this English trans- lation, adding all the matter with which Prof. Lubke has enriched his latest edition, — none of which is, of course, to be found in the English translation, — and with, beside, such notes as might prove useful to American readers. But this plan had to be aban- doned, because the translation was found to be so seriously wanting in accuracy as to render correction necessary at every step ; and it was feared that these chanp-es, with the insertion of so much entirely new matter, could only result in a thing of shreds and patches.

vi Editor's Preface.

It is not necessary to more than hint at the state of the case to justify the editor's rejection of work he might have been expected to use. It will be suffi- cient to say, that, at an early period in the course of his revision, it was decided to make an entirely new translation ; and this work was confided to competent hands, under the able supervision of IVIr. Edward L. Burlingame.

The reader of this book is asked to remember that it is not intended for scholars, but for students ; and to such it may be cordially commended, since, all deduc- tions allowed, these merits seem to remain unchallenged, — accuracy in the statements made, and a desire to be temperate and just, with an excellent sense of proportion that rarely permits the author to give undue considera- tion to any one portion of his subject. If he anywhere err by the " too much," it may be thought to be in his treat- ment of German architecture, both in the Gothic period and in the time of the Renaissance. It may, however, be urged in his defence, that our popular books are wanting in information on just these parts of the gen- eral subject ; and that, far from reproaching the author with his fulness on these topics, we ought to be obliged to him for tellinof us so much about a matter of which the most of us know so little.

On the other hand, our author sometimes errs by the

Editor's Preface. vli

" too little ; " as when he finds in North America only seven artists worthy of mention, two of whom are Ger- mans ; and when a page suffices him for all he has to say on the subject of English art in the nineteenth century. But these are slight defects in a work of such extent ; and considering how easily the deficiency in the account, whether of ourselves or of our English neighbors, can be supplied, they are defects that call for only a passing mention.

The editor's work has been confined to a revision of the text, in which he has endeavored to be faithful. While he knows too much of the difficulties of the work to hope that he has escaped all errors, his only consola- tion will be, when faithful critics show the public and himself his faults, that he alone will know how many have escaped their notice. As for the notes, he has confined himself to such as he thought would add to the usefulness of the book.

The references in the footnotes to books which treat of the various subjects discoursed upon have been care- fully revised, and all particulars added, so far as has been possible, that would make it easy to procure the books mentioned either from the libraries or from the book- sellers. A complete bibliography, or any approach to one, has not, of course, been attempted ; but it is hoped that the student will find all the books referred to useful.

viii Ediioi^'s Preface.

The editor's intention has been to name the latest edition in every case, and also to refer to whatever English or American book may have been published on any subject treated of in the text. In justice to the author, it has been thought advisable to enclose in brackets [ ] all the notes added by the editor, and all the titles of books added by him to Prof. Liibke's original references.

An Index has been specially made for this American edition by Mr. W. M. Ferriss, which will no doubt be rightly valued by those who use the book. To the pub- lishers for the liberality with which they have seconded him in his desire to present Prof. Liibke's work worthily to American readers, and to the printers and the proof- readers for the unwearied care with which they have watched over the book from title-page to closing line, are due the grateful thanks of


171 WiisT Tenth Street, New York.






Origin and Beginnings of Art i


Chapter I. — EGYPTIAN ART.

1. Land and People 17

2. The Architecture of the Egyptians 21

3. The Sculpture of the Egyptians 36


A. Babylon and Nineveh 50

B. Persia and Media (£


A. Phcenicians and Hebreavs 78

B. The Races of Asia Minor 86


A. India: —

1. Land and People 95

2. The Architecture of the Indians 98

3. The Sculpture of the Hindoos 106


Contents of the First Volume. B. Branches of Indian Art : —


1. Cashmere no

2. Nepal, Java, and Pegu 112

3. China and Japan 114


Chapter I. — GREEK ART.

1. Land and People 121

2. Greek Architecture : —

a. The System 130

b. Epochs and Principal Buildings 145

The First Epoch 146

The Second Epoch 152

The Third Epoch 161

3. Greek Plastic Art : —

a. Subject and P'orm 167

b. The Epochs of Greek Art, and their Remains . . -175

The First Epoch 177

The Second Epoch 191

The Third Epoch 219

The Fourth Epoch 231

c. Coins and Engraved Gems 240

4. Greek Painting : —

a. Its Character and Influence 243

b. Historical Development 246

c. Painting on Vases 253

Chapter II. — ETRUSCAN ART 258

Chapter III. — ROMAN ART.

1. Character of the Romans .271

2. Roman Architecture : —

a. Its System 275

b. Its Monuments 281

3. Sculjiture among the Romans 302

4. Painting among the Romans 319

Appendix, — Artistic Handicrafts among the Ancients . . 324

Contents of the First Vohmie. xi




1. Origin and Significance 337

2. Early Christian Architecture : —

a. Monuments at Rome 339

b. Monuments at Ravenna 35 1

c. Monuments in the East and in Byzantium . . . 355

d. Monuments in the North 3^8

3. Early Christian Sculpture and Painting 37-


1. Character and Artistic Faculty of the Arabs .... 410

2. Mohammedan Architecture 4^4

3. Its Monuments : —

a. In Egypt and Sicily 4i9

b. In Spain 4-4

c. In Turkey, Persia, and India 433

4. Appendix. — Christian Art in the Orient : —

a. Armenia and Georgia 439

b. Russia 44^


1 . Character of the Romanesque Epoch 443

2. Romanesque Architecture : —

a. Its System 446

b. Germany ^^7°

Italy 492

France 5o8

England 5i6

Scandinavia -5-°

Spain 529

3. Romanesque Sculpture and Painting : —

a. Their Subject and Method 534

b. Historic Development 53^

In the Countries North of the Alps . . • • 538

Italy 56









Celtic Monument ....




Stonehenge .....



Arch at Delos. Fergusson .




Dolmen (Pierre levee), near Poi-

tiers, thirteen feet long and three


feet thick (mentioned by Rabe-






Teocalli of Guatusco .




Casa de las Monjas at Uxmal




Head of Tiaguanaco .



Vessels of the Bronze Period




Ornaments of the Bronze Period .




Sphinx and Pyramid of Gizeh




Tomb of Benl-Hassan .



Capital of Beni-Hassan




Restored View of an Egyptian






Details of an Egyptian Temple .




Statue and Obelisk




Longitudinal Section and Ground-


Plan of the Temple of Chensu


at Kamak



Capital at Karnak



Capital at Karnak




Temple at Elephantine




Capital from Edfu




Capital from Denderah




Wooden Statue. Found by Mari-

ette at Sakkarah. Museum at





Egyptian Heads in Relief .




Egyptian Wall-Paintings



Relief at Karnak. Sethos I.




Sethos I., with Osiris, Isis, and


Horus .....



Subject from The Book of the


Ground-Plan of the North-west

Palace of Nimrud Ornament at Kujjundjik Details from Assyrian Palaces Details from Assyrian Palaces Fortress, from an Assyrian Relief, Representation of an Assyrian

Temple Relief at Kujjundjik . Figures of Assyrian Rulers Bass-Relief. Assyrian Court Offi

cials .... Relief from Nimrud Assyrian Head Portal at Khorsabad Tomb of Cyrus . Relief of Cyrus . Ruins of the Palace of Persepolis Details of Persian Architecture Rock-Fagade of Royal Tombs in

Persia Column from Susa Relief from Persepolis . Relief from Persepohs . Tomb at Amrith (restored). From

Renan Temple-Cella at Amrith. From

Renan Coin from the Temple of Venus

(Astarte) at Paphos . Tomb of Absalom, at Jerusalem Tomb of Tantalus, in Lydia Tomb of Midas .


53 54

55 55 5"

5S 59 62

63 63 64

65 69 69

73 74 75 76




85 88



List of Illustrations in the First Volume.



55- 56.

57- 5S.

59- 60.

61. 62.

63- 64. 65. 66. 67. 6S. 69. 70.



73- 74-

75- 76.

n- 78.



81, 82.

83 84 8

Rock Tomb at M>Ta . Rock-cut Tombs at Myra . Tomb at Kyanea-Jaghu Capital of the Column at Bhitari, From the Column at Allahabad . Thupardmaya-Dagop . Cave of Karli. Ground-Plan and Section ..... Cave of Elephanta Capital at EUora Pillar at Ellora .... Pagoda of Mahamalaipur . Relief from Mahamalaipur . Relief of Kailasa at Ellora . Temple of Payach Temple of Boro Budor Chinese Temple

Doorway at Missolonghi. From

Fergusson ....

The Lion-Relief from the Gate at


Plan and Section of the Treasury

of .\treus at Mycena

Details from the Treasure-House

of .\treus ....

Ground-Plan of the Temple of

Theseus at Athens .

, Section of the Great Temple at

Paestiim . . . . •

. Doric Order. From the Temple

of Theseus in .Athens . Ornament on the Capitals of the Ants-Pilasters of the Theseum. Athens ..... Ionic Order. From the Temple of Pallas, Athene, at Priene


Attic-Ionic St>le. From the

Erectheium at Athens

Capital and Entablature from the

Choragic Monument of Lysic-

rates at Athens

Remains of Temple (of Castor

and Pollux?) at Agrigentum .

Ground-Plan of the Temple of

Poseidon at Paestum View of the Interior of the Tem- ple of Poseidon at Pjestum . Plan of the Temple of Diana at


View of the Temple of Theseus .







































1 102.



1 104.







140 143

145 148 149






no. III. 112.

113- 114. 115.


From the Parthenon . Ground-Plan of the Propylaea. The Entrance to the Acropolis of Athens .... North-west View of the Erec- theium

The Acropolis of Athens,restored, Monument of Lysicrates 'The Lantern of Diogenes . The so-called Tomb of Theron at Agrigentum .... Capital from the Apollo Temple at Miletus .... Metope-Relief from Selinus Apollo of Tenea .... From the Harpy Monument from Xanthus. British Museum . Relief from Thasos . Copy of the Group of the Tyran- nicides at Athens . Statues on the Western Pediment of Temple at iEgina. Munich. Disk-Thrower, after Myron Marsyas, after Myron Coin of Elis, from Overbeck Bust of Jupiter from Otricoli.


Juno. Possibly by Alcamenes. In the Ludovisi Palace, Rome, , Relief from Eleusis . . From the Frieze of the Temple of Theseus .... . Female Figure from the Eastern Pediment of the Parthenon. London ..... . Theseus, from the Eastern Pedi- ment of the Parthenon. Lon- don .... Metope from the Parthenon From the Frieze of the Parthe- non .... From the Frieze of the Parthe

non ....

From the Frieze of the Parthe

non ....

Venus of Milo. Louvre . Caryatide from the Erectheium From the Frieze of the Temple

of Nik^ Apteros Hera, possibly after Polycletus Naples ....



158 160 162 163




I So

182 1 84


186 190 191 196


200 202







211 212




List of IlliLstrations in the First Volume. xv

FIG. 117.



121. 122.

123. 124.



127. 128.


I -50.

133- 134-

135- 136.

137- 13S.

139- 140. 141. 142.

143- 144. 145. 146.


148, 149,



From the Frieze of the Temple

at Phigalia. London From the Frieze of the Temple

at Phigalia. London From the Frieze of the Temple at Phigalia. London Eirene, after Cephisodotus. Mu- nich ..... The Faun of Praxiteles From the Parapet of the Temple

of Nike Apteros Head of Niobe. Florence . From the Mausoleum at Hali- carnassus ....

The Apoxyomenos, after Lysip-

pus. Vatican

The Statue of Sophocles. Late-

ran Museum ....

Group of the Laocoon. Vatican,

The Dying Gladiator. Rome,

Capitoline Museum The Apollo Belvedere. Vatican, Examples of Greek Coins . Wall-Painting from Psstum Wall-Painting from Pompeii The Dodwell Vase, now at Munich, Greek Vases of the Oldest Style, Greek Vases .... From the Fagade of a Tomb at Norchia ..... Sepulchral Chamber at Cer\-etri . Facade of Tomb at Castellaccio . The Etruscan Orator, Florence . Relief on Etruscan Tomb . Etruscan Wall-Painting Etruscan Mirrors Roman Corinthian Capital . Composite Capital Roman Doric Order . Corinthian Cornice from the Arch

of Titus

Capital and Base from Temple of

Vesta at Tivoli Section of the Pantheon , Maison Ouarree at Ximes . Section of the House of Pansa at Pompeii ..... . Hall in the so-called House of

Sallust at Pompeii . . Section and Portion of the Eleva- tion of the Colosseum

218 218 219



225 227





238 242 252

253 254

254 256

261 262 263 265 266 268 269 278 278 279


282 284


2S9 290 291




157. 158.

159. 160. 161.


163. 164. 165.



Arch of Titus ....

Bridge of Alcantara .

View of a Portion of the Palace of Diocletian at Salona .

Porte d'Arroux at Autun .

Pcsta Nigra at Treves

Fagade of Rock-cut Tomb at Petra, El Deir

Caryatide of the Vatican .

The Nile reposing. Vatican

Roman Portrait-Statues with the Toga ( TogatcB)

The Pudicitia (Modesty). Vati- can

Marble Statue of Augustus

Busts of Roman Emperors

Portion of Relief on Trajan's Column .....

Portion of Relief on Trajan's Column .....

Apotheosis of Antoninus Pius and his Empress. Relief from the Base of the Column of An- toninus Pius ....

168. Relief from the Arch of Constan-


169. Sarcophagus in the Capitoline

Museum ....

170. The Parting of Achilles and

Briseis. Wall-Painting from Pompeii .....

171. Genre-Subject. Wall-Painting

from Pompeii .

172. Greek Prize-Vases

173. Greek Amphorae and Craterae

174. Greek Drinking-Horns

175. Roman Marble Vases

176. Antique Tripods and Censers

177. Antique Candelabra in Bronze

and Marble

178. Antique Gold Ornaments .

179. Roman Armor ... iSo. Interior of the Basilica of St

Paul. Outside the Walls at Rome ....

181. Plan of the Old Basilica of St

Peter at Rome

182. Baptistery of St. John Lateran

183. Capital from Ravenna

184. Interior of San Vitale. Ravenna, 18;. Basilika at Tafkha( Section^


293 294


300 301


304 306


309 310


313 314

315 316



326 326

327 328





349 35° 352 354 357

xvi List of Illustrations in the First Volume.




1 86.

Group of Buildings in Djebel-






Capital from Santa Sophia .




Ground-Plan of the Church of


Santa Sophia ....




Fagade of the Cliurch of the


Mother of God. Constanti-






Minster at Aachen




Early Christian Bronze Lamps

and Glass ....




Ceiling-Painting in the Cata-


combs of St. Calixtus




Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus.






Sarcophagus in the Church of St.


Ambrose. Milan .



Ananias and Sapphira. Ivory


Tablet at Salerno .



The Good .Shepherd. From the


Catacombs of Santa Agnese .



Mosaic in the Church of SS.


Cosmo and Damiano. Rome .



From the Mosaics of San Vitale.


Ravenna. ....




Mosaic in the Vestibule of Santa





Chair of Bishop Maximianus.


Ravenna ....




The Emperor Lothair and Charles


the Fat. Frankish .Miniatures,




Irish Miniature ....




Crown of St. Stephen. At Ofen





German Pins and Brooches



The Throne of Dagobert.





Tassilo's Goblet. Kremsmiinster,




Mosque of Amru in Old Cairo .



Mosque at Tabriz




Arch at Tarragona




Pendentivcs in the Kuba at Pa-





Portal at Iconium




Arcades of the Mosque Amru



From the Mosque Ibn-Tulum .




Ground- Plan of the Zisa




Ground-Plan of the Mosque at





Section of the Mosque of Cor-





Portion of the Giralda at Seville Ground-Plan of the Alhambra Capital from the Alhambra Border of Arch. Alhambra Portico of the Generalife . Portal of the Mosque of Ispahan Mausoleum at Bedjapur Cathedral at Ani Church of Wasili Blagennoi. At

^Moscow .... Church at Monreale . S. Godehard at Hildesheim Cathedral at Gurk Church at Iluysburg . From the Cathedral at Modena Base of Column from the Cathe

dral of Parenzo Cubiform or Block Capital from

the Cathedral at Gurk Calyx-Capitals. Church at Hor

]5acz .... .-\rch-Frieze. Church at Wiener

Xeustadt Church at Schwarz-Rheindorf Fagade of the Church of St. Jdk Cathedral at Worms. After Dol

linger .... Plan of the Baptistery at Parma Baptistery at Asti Capital from Heiligkreug . Portal at Heilsbronn . .St. Michael's Church at Hildes

heim .... Cathedral at Trier (Treves)

Western End . Interior of the Cathedral at


Church of the Holy Apostles at

Cologne. From Dollinger Cathedral at Limburg. Cloister at Konigsliitter Cloister in the Great Minster at

Zurich .... Church at Trebitsch. Cross

Section .... Church of Jdk . Monastery Church of Jerichow,

From Adler San Micchele. Lucca Baptistery at Florence Apse of the Cathedral at Palermo

427 428 431 431 432 437 439 440

44- 447 447 448 450 452




456 457 458

461 464 464 468 469


473 476

478 481

4S3 485

487 489

491 497 499 500

List of Illustrations in the Fii^st Volume. x\'ii


255. San Marco. "\'enice .

256. Cathedral at Modena .

257. S. Sernin. Toulouse .

258. Notre Dame du Port at Clermont

Cross-Section .

259. S. Front, at Perigueux

260. St. Etienne. Caen

261. From the Church at Waltham

262. Cathedral of Peterborough

Ground-Plan .

263. Cathedral of Peterborough. Sec-

tion ......

264. Cathedral at Ribe. Cross-Section,

265. Crypt of the Cathedral at Viborg,

266. The Cathedral at Lund

267. Church at Borgund

268. Door of the Church at Tind

269. Church of St. Isidoro. Leon

270. Tower of the Cathedral of Sala

manca ....

271. Ivory Relief. Paris .

272. Reliefs on a Hunting-Horn

Prague ....

273. Tomb-Slab of Rudolph of Swabia


274. Relief from the Fcnt in the

Church of St. Bartliolomew Liittich ....

275. From the Candelabrum in the

Cathedral at Prague



• 503


• 505

. 510


• 5"


• 513

• 515


• 5^7



519 520 521 524


529 531

533 541

542 544

545 546


2S2, 283.




2S7. 288. 2S9.

Relief from the Church at Gro- ningen

Relief in the Church at Wechsel- burg

Statue from the Main Portal of the Cathedral of Chartres

From the Verdun Altar at Klos- ter-Neuburg ....

Apparition at the Birth of Christ. From the Manuscript of Wer- ner von Tegernsee .

Dido and jEneas. From the Manuscript of the ^Eneid

Wall-Painting in St. Savin .

^^'all-Painting from Schwarz- rheindorf

From the Roof of St. Michael in Hildesheim ....

The Evangelists John and Luke. Relief from Aquileja

The Adoration of the Three Kings. Relief from Nicola Pisano"s Pulpit in the Cathe- dral of Pisa ....

Angel from Cimabue's Madonna in Santa Maria Novella .

Madonna by Guido da Siena. Church of St. Dominic, Siena.

From Duccio's Picture in the Ca- thedral of Siena


547 548

550 553


557 558

559 561


565 569




"A talent for any art is rare: but it is given to nearly every one to adtivate a taste for art ; only it nmst be cultivated with earnestness. The more things thou learnest to know and to enjoy, the more complete and full will be for thee the delight of living." — Platen.






In the intricate complexity of things around him, man strives after a knowledge of the general laws which shall bring them into an harmonious connection. Only by the assurance of the deep necessity for such a connection can he calmly and clearly survey the apparent arbitrariness of the separate parts, and per- ceive, in the successive phases of life afforded by the history of mankind, a progressive development of the ideas and spiritual facts underlying them. If anywhere indispensable, this is especially so in the realm of art, as in its works the character of nations and of centuries is sensibly manifested. The question, therefore, of the origin of art, confronts us at once.

This origin, however, is not so easy to establish, because everywhere, although often obliterated by the productions of later civilization, it took place in a similar manner, as may be seen, even at the present day, among nations yet in an immature condition. The period of this origin is, therefore, just as uncer- tain as the place. One nation dates the birth of its art a thou- sand years ago ; another is looking for it still to come. Only so much is certain, that in the first stirrings of an impulse to art, under all zones and at all times, a remarkable harmony may be observed. It is the original universal language of mankind, the traces of which meet us in the islands of the Southern Ocean

Histoi'y of Art.

as on the shores of the Mississippi, among the old Celts arid Scandinavians as among the heroes of Homer and in the inte- rior of Asia ; only in these primeval times this language does not pass beyond its first stammering utterance. Man is still too much fettered by surrounding Nature : he ventures still too little beyond her immediate conditions for him to be able to rise to the portrayal of images of individual freedom. Hence these primitive works seem rather the results of the workings of a general law of nature than the conscious creative efforts of individual man. The farther man advances, in the course of time, on the path of progress, the clearer stand out the differ- ences of individual minds, and the richer is the abundance and variety of individual human character.

The simplest primitive form, produced by the awakening impulse to art, is the mound (tumulus) heaped up to mark the burying-place of a fallen hero, or the mighty block of stone erected by the joint effort of many hands, rough as the moun- tain yields it, or as some primeval flood has left it. Here man's work is scarcely distinguishable from the casual formations of nature : the inner associations which man, of his own will, con- nects with it, alone give it significance. The numerous com- binations of such blocks of stone — the stone- circles, the grottoes, the rude table-like altar-forms of stone which we con- stantly meet with (Fig. i) — scarcely rise above — this lowest stage. Yet even here, by the magni-

Fig. I. Celtic Monument.

tude of the ground-plans, or by the colossal size of the stones and the unusual character of their positions and combinations, the aspect of these monuments begins to affect the imagination. The awful sense of something mysterious, mighty, — ay, even fearful, — seizes us with feelings similar to that by which the

Primitive Monimieiits. — Stonehenge. 3

foreboding of Divinity declares itself among people yet in a natural and undeveloped condition. Here, too, we first perceive a striving after architectural unity and proportion, after com- position and a certain harmony. Two mighty blocks of stone are erected, and a third is placed as a lofty lintel upon them. A number of such combinations are arranged in a circle, or in several wide circles, one within the other ; and the central point of the monument is thus unmistakably indicated. Thus it is with the famous stone-circle (Stonehenge) at Salisbury (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2. Stonehenge.

Double rows of upright stones lead to the place of worship, as in the great monument at Abury.^ The tomb-chambers also are formed in a similar manner, several of such post-and-lintel

[1 " Avebury, Aiv, or Abury. A village and parish of England, in the county of Wilts. The village is built on the site of a structure ascribed to the Druids, and similar to that at Stonehenge, but which must have been on a scale still more stupendous. Few traces of it now remain, the stone having been used for repairing roads. In the parish is Silsbury Hill, a hundred and seventy feet in height, and reputed to be the largest barrow in England." — Lif- pincott's Gazetteer. The best English book on these early works is undoubtedly Fergusson's Rude Stone Monuments in all Countries ; their Age and Uses. London, 1872. It is profusely and beautifully illustrated.]

History of Art.

combinations being set up side by side. Advancing a step farther on the same stage of art, we find an inclination to a better monumental construction ; the tombs, enclosed beneath mounds of rock or earth, being rendered secure by gradually projecting the layers of stone until they meet over the centre, and thus a kind of vault is formed. Other tombs are enclosed in a more simple manner by making two or more stone slabs rest obliquely against each other, like the rafters of a roof (Fig. 3).

The monuments of this primitive pe- riod do not belong exclusively to the Celtic and Germanic prehistoric ages, but are scattered far and wide over the surface of the whole earth, as if to prove that everywhere among men art has had one and the same beginning. We find these remains in Scandinavia, England, and Ireland, in Brit- tany,^ and in North Germany (in Hanover and the Baltic

[1 " A very large number of Celtic or Driiidical monuments still exist in France, especially in the western districts and along the southern shores of Brittany. They are of various descrip- tions. The menhir, or pcnlvan, is a mass of rough-hewn stone, fixed upright in the ground like an obelisk, and frequently exceeding thirty feet in height. These occur either singly, or arranged in vast lines or avenues, as in the well-known instance of Carnac, in the depart- ment Morbihan. This monument, the most extensive and celebrated in France, consisted originally of several thousands of these rude pillars of granite, and has been likened to ' an army of petrified giants.' The dolmen is composed of a large block, or slab, of stone, sup- ported horizontally upon two or more stones in an upright position, so as to form a sort of table or altar. It was upon these, no doubt, that the sacrifice was offered. They are known in France by different names, —fierre levee (Fig. 4), pierrc eouverte, pierre Icvade. Some- times they are of considerable size, and form a stone chamber or grotto, through which a man may pass upright. To these must be added the cromlech, or circle of stones ; i\\t pierrc bran- lanlc, or rocking-stone, poised with such exquisite precision on a single point as to bs easily movable by the hand, notwithstanding its stupendous bulk ; and the iiimiihis, or barrow, which was the usual place of sepulture." — Student's History of France. London, 1S62, p. 12.]



Fig. 3. Arch at Deles. Fergusson. {From Stuart's Athetis.)

Primitive Moriimients. — America. 5

provinces), also in India and Asia Minor, in Egypt, on the north coast of Africa, and in the region about the Atlas Mountains.


Fig. 4. Dolmen (Pierre levee), near Poitiers, thirteen feet long and three feet thick (mentioned by


We may regard the ancient monuments of America as examples of a further stage in the progress of art.^ Although these, in their highest perfection, do not occur till a period con- temporary with our own middle ages, they still mark a primitive stage of artistic creation, such as other nations had probably passed through in ancient times. The monuments of Peru, witnesses to the once mighty kingdom of the Incas, have a strong individual character. The remains of the mighty road, which stretched for miles through the country, boldly victorious over the most extraordinary difficulties of soil, astonish modern

1 Denkmaler der Kunst, pi. 2 and 3. I. D. von Braunschweig uber die altamerikanischen Denkmiiler, Berlin, 1S40. Lord Kingsborough, Antiquities of Mexico. J. L. Stephens, Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan, 2 vols., New York, 1S41 ; and Incidents of Travel in Yucatan, 2 vols., New York, 1843. [These two books by Stephens are of the highest value, especially for their illustrations. He was accompanied in both his expeditions by Mr. F. Catherwood, an accomplished draughtsman. In making the drawings for the first work, he was assisted by the camera ; but in the second he employed the daguerrotype, then just invented. This must have been one of the earliest employments of sun-printing in the service of archaeology,]

6 History of Ai^t.

travellers. Other remains testify a predilection for terraces, and a use of the so-called Cyclopean stonework, familiar to other primitive peoples all over the world ; that is, of walls con- sisting of irregularly formed blocks of stone fitted carefully together, and the interstices filled with smaller pieces. The door-openings are contracted at the top into a triangular form by means of the gradual projecting of the stones.^ In Mexico and Central America, especially under the rule of the warlike and powerful Aztecs, art reaches the utmost height to which the mind of the primitive races of America could attain. Thd* stone remains of this people, so highly developed to a certain extent, afford even now striking proofs of their incapacity to attain to a higher culture. We find among them the primeval monumental

Kig. 5. TeocdUi of Guatusco.

form common to every people, reduced among them to a settled type, — that of a pyramid rising in several terraces. Vast court- yards enclosed in walls, and with the dwellings of the priests standing in connection with them, formed a complicated temple building, of which that of Teocalli is an example (Fig. 5). Broad steps led to the height of the platform, where captured foes

\} E. G. Squier, Incidents of Travel and Exploration in the Land of the Incas. i vol. New York, 1877.]

Desire for Decoration. — Sculpture. 7

were slaughtered to the horrible war-god Huitztilopochtli. Numerous monuments- of this kind are to be found at Xochicalco, Papantla, Guatusco, Tehuantepec, and in other places.

In these works, more or less important remains of which have been preserved, we also discover the primitive development of a second impulse, — that craving for ornamentation and decoration which almost always accompanies the awakened desire for monumental memorials. Two things here serve the creative fancy as motives, — first, the arrangement of the threads in the most ancient process of the textile art (that of plaiting ^ ) employed by the earliest pastoral tribes in the manu- facture of clothing, tent-cloth, carpets, and curtains ; second, the forms of vegetable and animal life. The ornaments of the first kind are generally richer, and more tasteful in device, and are more neatly executed : they constantly exhibit — e.g., in that ribbon-like twist, the well-known meander, which occurs among all nations — motives of an artistic kind, such as would seem to have been shared by the human race originally as a common heritage. They are early applied to works of architecture, at first, indeed, in luxuriant overloading, without distinctness, rule, or systematic arrangement ; so that not unfrequently they cover the whole surface like tapestry, and conceal the construction. Many of the later Mexican monuments, especially that at Uxmal, are conspicuous for this (Fig. 6).

Hand in hand with these primitive attempts at monumental structures, we find the first weak efforts at sculpture. Impelled by the needs of his limited perceptions, man, as soon as the working of higher powers has manifested itself to him, aspires

[1 "Of the use of woollen stuff — not woven, but plaited — among the older stock of the Britons, a curious instance was very lately brought to light while cutting through an early Celtic grave-hill, or barrow, in Yorkshire : the dead body had been wrapped, as was shown by the few unrotted shreds still cleaving to its bones, in a woollen shroud of coarse and loose fabric wrought by the plaiting process without a loom. — Journal of the Arclueological Society, t. xxii. p. 254, quoted by Dr. Daniel Rock in his Introduction to the Catalogue of Textile Fabrics in the South Kensington Museum. London, 1870.]


History of Art.

to erect for himself a monument, with which he links the adoration of Deity. At first he is satisfied with a rude monu- mental column, the mighty form of which serves him as a symbol of that mysterious and supreme Being of whose exist- ence he has a dim perception. Thus architecture and the plastic art proceed from the same cradle. By degrees, however, man seeks to make a more definite image of his Deity : he invests

Fig. 6. Casa de las Monjas at Uxmal.

it with his own features only: partly from lack of skill, and partly from a vague yearning after the mighty and the vast, he distorts them into strange, and sometimes even monstrous, forms. Remarkable instances of this also are to be found in the monuments of America,^ such as the colossal head of Tiaguanaco at Lake Titicaca in Peru, represented in Fig. 7.-

1 Cf. Denkm. d. Kunst, plate 3.

[2 A cut of this liead, showing it both in front and in profile, is given in Squier's Peru, page 296. It is reproduced from the work of D'Orbigny. Squier says he has no doubt the details are quite as erroneous as those of other figures portrayed by D'Orbigny. But it is evident it is in keeping with all that we learn of the Peruvian sculpture; and it is, probably,

The Stone Period. — The Bronze Period.

No less important as evidences of the primitive artistic im- pulses of mankind are the vessels and implements which are found in the tombs in Northern, Central, and Western Europe. The earliest of these belong to an epoch lying beyond all his- torical record, when the preparation of metals was unknown ; and hence their poor vessels were /TTTT laboriously fashioned out of rough '

blackish clay, and their implements and weapons out of flint. Art has ^fl' no share in the meagre productions of this Stone Period. Vessels and implements, however, received an- other impress with the dawn of that advance in civilization which is designated as the Bronze Period. Here, too, there is no link with his- torical tradition ; but in the numer- ous remains brought to light in Scandinavia, Great Britain, Ger- many, France, and Switzerland, — not only in the tombs, but also in the remarkable settlements of the ^ 's- ?■ Head of Tiaguanaco.

lake-dwellers, and in those lately unearthed by the labors of Schliemann on the sites of ancient Troy and Mycenae, — we catch glimpses of that unfolding civilization which in Northern Europe is properly called Celtic. Mingled with the not yet discarded implements of stone we find weapons and imple- ments of bronze, conspicuous for elegance of form and orna- ment. Together with the earthen vessels, there are metal utensils, expressive in outline, and adorned with engraved or stamped ornament (Fig. 8) ; some of them evidently cooking- pans, or dishes for the table, as ^, c, and /; and some, as b

substantially correct. " The head is three feet six inches high, and two feet seven inches in diameter ; so that, if the other proportions of the figure were corresponding, the total height of ths statue was about eighteen feet." — Squier's Peru^


History of Art.

and e, richly decorated golden vessels, designed for festive occa- sions.^ Their ornaments consist of spiral, winding, or circular and curved lines, arranged in concentric rings, or surrounding the vessel like a frieze. The same mode of decoration, in still

Fig. 8. Vessels of tlie Bronze Period.

richer variety, is exhibited in the ornaments, — mostly of bronze, hut also of gold, and also, though rarely, of silver, — specimens of which may be seen in Fig. 9.

From the pins of different kinds (/', /, ;//, //), the brooches, clasps, buckles (//, v, zv, x) with which the mantle or over-

[1 The pointed form given to the Isottoms of these vessels — a form familiar to us in the remains of antiquity, alike in pottery and bronze — was probably originally derived from the gourds, cal- abashes, cocoa-nuts, and other thick-skinned or hard-shelled vegetables and fruits, which, in tropical countries, must have been in all ages the first vessels for holding liquids. They are still found to be so used in all these countries, unless European traders have jirovided the inhabitants with substitutes made of metal. As these vegetable utensils cannot stand of them- selves, they are supported, either by b^ing stuck into the earth by the pointed end, or by being set into rings of wood or metal. In Spain, the old form of the amphora is still in use for holding wine, oil, and olives. It is not many years since olives were brought from Spain to this country in such jars. In Fig. 33, the two jars which stand in front of the temple are seen to be supported on low tripods. In the Castellan! collection in the Metropolitan Museum of New York, two small amphorae — one of glass, the other of rock-crystal — are to be seen, placed in the gold rings like napkin-rings, in which they were standing when the tomb that con- tained them was opened. (Tray No. 6, Nos. i, 14, 16.) At a later period, instead of a movable tripod, feet were added to the vessel itself; and still later, a continuous foot or circu- lar base.]

Oriiame7its of the Broiize Period.


garment was fastened, the simple finger-rings {r, s), the head- circlets {Cy d, e), to the diadems {a, b), collars (/), and bracelets (/, g, /i,j\ o), with their spiral coils or hoop-like forms {p, g), all are executed with a taste for precision of form which appears closely related to artistic feeling.

Fig. g. Ornaments of the Bronze Period.

Carefully classified collections for the study of the remains of these oldest periods of human culture are to be found, among other places, at Schwerin in the Museum of Antiquities, at Copenhagen and at Stockholm in the museums of those capi- tals, in the New Museum at Berlin, and in the collection of the Society of Antiquaries at Zurich. (The British Museum, and the Museum at St. Germain-en-Laye near Paris, are also rich in these remains.)

1 2 History of Art.

The third period of civilization is called the Iron Age. It begins with the first mining, smelting, and working of iron, — a metal that has played a chief part in the culture of the human race. Its discovery did not, of course, drive out the use of other metals : on the contrary, we find in the graves of this period bronze utensils plentifully mingled with weapons, vessels, and other objects made of iron.

No fixed dates have as yet been assigned either to the Stone or the Bronze Period. So much, however, seems certain, that the knowledge of the preparation of metals was first imparted to the people of Western Europe by the Phoenicians, until, as is testified by numerous moulds and furnaces that have been discovered, they made the art their own. In the East, on the other hand, historical intimations as to the limits of both peri- ods are not lacking. Thus Joshua was commanded to make knives of flints ^ (Josh. v. 2, margin), to " roll away the reproach of Egypt" from the children of Israel after their long wanderings in the desert. Zipporah, the wife of Moses, employed a stone for the same use in circumcising her son (Exod. iv. 25, margin). At the end of the period of the Judges, about 1080 B.C., it is written (i Sam. xiii. 19), "There was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel ; for the Philistines said. Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears. But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share, and his coulter, and his axe, and his mattock." If a race living at that time in immediate contact with the Phoenicians was still unac- quainted with the preparation of metals, it may be concluded that the use of metals did not reach the nations dwelling in the remote west until much later. ^

1 " From the fact that iron was known in the time of Homer, if not at the time of the siege of Troy, it is not necessary to conclude that the age of copper had suddenly ceased. Before the age of copper had absolutely given place to the age of iron, many years elapsed, and per- haps many centuries. The age of stone is not yet extinct to-day. In certain countries of the East, the Hebrew rite of circumcision is performed by means of a knife of obsidian ; and even in Greece knives of the same material are used to cut the stalks of wheat." — Maxinie du Camp, quoted by Soldi. La Sculpture egyptienne, p. 109.

Early Bii^tJi of Feeling for Art. 1 3

Such early attempts, made in all quarters of the world, mark everywhere the artistic striving of the nations. The mysterious impulse to art is felt by man as soon as he attains to a certain point of civilization, and the longing is awakened within him to give a visible form to what he dimly feels, or to leave behind him a lasting testimony, a monument of his existence. How, in the various groups of nations, mental capacity, outward cir- cumstances, the nature of the country, and the propelling influ- ence of human progress, have brought this artistic impulse to manifold development, to gradual germination, growth, and to a glorious prime, will be shown in the history of art.







On the banks of the Nile we meet with the earhest traces of artistic activity. As a higher state of civiHzation is generally displayed in valleys watered by rivers, we find this especially and conspicuously the case here. Without the Nile, Egypt would be as inhospitable a desert as any of the other adjacent parts of Africa. Flowing down from the lofty mountains of Abyssinia, the river, swollen with the mass of waters in the tropical rainy season, rises annually with the utmost regularity, covering the narrow, rock-enclosed valley with its floods, de- positing, as it subsides, an extraordinarily fruitful alluvial soil. This state of things, even in ancient times, was the source of prosperity and of a high degree of civilization. The wonderful stream compelled the inhabitants not merely to build protecting dikes and embankments, but it also early made necessary a system of irrigation, by which its blessings might be regulated, and uniformly distributed. It even gave the first impetus to scientific studies, since the regular return and subsidence of the waters early became a subject of observation, and, with the help of astronomical study, a matter of learned computation. Indeed, the whole life of the people, dependent as it was on the river, acquired a distinct outward form, a fixed rule and order : hence a spirit of strict conformity to law was early familiar to the Egyptians.

Undoubtedly, however, the natural disposition of this remark- able people contained the germs, which, under the fostering influence of outward circumstances, unfolded in such a charac-


1 8 History of Art.

teristic manner. We may suppose, that, in the prehistorical ages, the people of the Pharaohs passed into the rich valley of the Nile from their dwellings in Western Asia, crossing the Isthmus of Suez, that bridge of nations, over which, through thousands of years, the races of Asia and Egypt streamed to and fro both for war and peace. We may suppose that they partly subjugated the aborigines and partly supplanted them, and laid the foundation of the Egyptian civilization with its distinctive features. The character of this people was utterly separate and isolated ; and while their native river is strangely distinguished from all other rivers of the world by the fact, that, in its whole course through Egypt, — a land the length of which is equal to that of Great Britain, — it receives no single tribu- tary, not even the smallest, so the ancient Egyptians rejected with proud reserve all intermingling with foreign elements. Thus the land lay, like one long oasis, protected by its rocky walls, and surrounded by the sandy tracts of the desert ; and thus the people, like some oasis of civilization, towered with fulness of vigor above the surrounding races, who were inferior to them in culture and in development.

The form of government in which Egyptian life remained petrified for thousands of years was that despotism common to the whole East. But the sober, practical, sensible turn of mind peculiar to the Egyptians prevented them from yielding to that enervating voluptuousness so common under the Asiatic despot- isms, and directed their minds to useful and energetic work. The Pharaohs certainly ruled with unlimited power ; and so high was their position above the whole people, even above the privi- leged castes of priest and soldier, that they shared divine adora- tion, and were identified with the gods of the land. There was, however, an extremely complicated web of legal and ceremonial arrangements, which fettered the power of the ruler, and com- manded his respect. Next to the ruler, the priestly caste enjoyed the most considerable influence. The priests were the guardians of science, especially of geometric and astronomical

Religious Notions of the Egyptians. 1 9

knowledge, which they knew how to envelop with a veil of mystery : they were the superintendents and warders of the temple, the guardians of the theoretical and practical religious


Their religious belief was deeply rooted in a polytheistic system, the forms of which were, for the most part, only sym- bols of events and circumstances connected with the peculiar nature of the country. Something of abstract ideas may have lain at the foundation of this system ; yet the mode in which they were expressed to the senses was somewhat crude. Thus the gods were represented after the divinely-esteemed Pharaohs, in human form : but to the upper and nobler parts, especially to the head, a distinct animal form was given, differing in the dif- ferent gods ; for most animals, noxious as well as harmless, received divine adoration, and were embalmed like human beings at their death. This custom of embalming is also closely con- nected with the religious notions of the Egyptians. They be- lieved, though in a rather material than spiritual manner, in a per- petual existence after death, in the wandering of the soul through the bodies of different animals (the so-called metempsychosis) ; and they regarded themselves as living forever. Hence their ex- traordinary care for the dead, their systematic reverence for the tombs ; treating the abodes of the departed with far more im- portance and solemnity than the dwellings of the living, which were only raised to meet ephemeral needs, and were as easily destroyed as they were built. All this imparted to the character of the ancient Egyptians a trait of earnestness which revealed itself in all their being, whether it assumed the form of unalter- able laws or of religious conservatism, or became, in private life, their settled rule of conduct. By their dress, mode of life, and manners, no less than by their language, and by the figurative, significant, but clumsy hieroglyphic writing employed by them alone, they were distinguished from other races, and felt them- selves, in their proud self-consciousness, so far superior to all other nations, that they avoided even peaceful contact with them,

20 History of Art.

and strictly prohibited all strangers from entering the sacred kingdom of the Pharaohs, or at least made it very difficult for them to do so.

The beginning of the political life of Egypt is lost in the impenetrable obscurity of remote antiquity. Four thousand years, however, before Christ, the oldest Egyptian kingdom existed in the lower part of the land, with its capital Memphis. Even at that time, magnificent dikes and waterworks were con- structed, and the pyramids were erected, the founders of which — the Pharaohs Chufu, Shafra, and Mencheres (called by He- rodotus Cheops, Chefren, and Mycerinus) — belonged to the fourth dynasty of Manetho.^ The ruling family had probably migrated from Western Asia, and had become mingled with the aborigines of the country. Besides the Pyramids of Memphis, the rocky tombs associated with them testify to the art-activity of that earliest epoch of the "ancient kingdom." A second flourishing period began with the twelfth dynasty, somewhat more than two thousand years before Christ. At this time, in the obelisk erected at Heliopolis by King Sesurtesen I., we meet for the first time with this remarkable form of monu- mental column so peculiar to the Egyptians. Similar monu- ments soon after began to be erected over a large extent of country, an evidence of the restlessly advancing and increasing power of the Pharaohs. The tombs of Beni-Hassan, in Central Egypt, exhibit the style of this epoch in its grandest expression. But, about the year 2000 B.C., conquerors from Western Asia, under the name of the Hyksos, invaded the land, and drove back the power of the Pharaohs to Upper Egypt. This inter- regnum lasted about six hundred years, until about 1400 B.C., when the invaders were vanquished and expelled by King Sethos I. The " new kingdom " now rose to the height of

[1 Manetho of Heliopolis was an Egyptian high priest, and keeper of the sacred archives, in the third century before Christ, under the first two Ptolemies. He wrote in Greek a history of Egypt, of which nothing but fragments remains. These fragments, in addition to an account of the Hyksos, furnish the complete lists of thirty dynasties, rimning over more than thirty-five hundred years.]

The ArcJiitccture of tJie Egyptians. 21

prosperity, its capital being Thebes with its hundred gates. The eighteenth and nineteenth dynasties, with their mighty rulers, especially the great Rhamses II. (the Sesostris of the Greeks), witnessed the golden age of Egyptian civilization, as is proved by the many temples and monuments still remaining. Imperceptibly, however, and probably resulting from Asiatic influence, an over-refinement of culture crept in, and broke the old strength of the nation. The wise Psammetichus attempted another regeneration by the help of Greek mercenaries, about the year 650 B.C. : this, however, lasted but a short time; for, under his immediate successors, Egypt became a prey to the Persians. So indestructible, nevertheless, was the national tenacity of the people, that in the monuments of a late period, even under Greek and Roman rule, the foreign conquerors adhered to the native forms of art, consecrated as they were by the tradition of centuries.


The earliest monuments in the world are the Pyramids of Memphis. They rise aloft like gigantic landmarks of history, memorials of an age which reaches back into an almost fabulous antiquity. They mark the epoch at which a higher civilization first took root on the earth ; and thus at the same time they point to the beginnings of historical life and of monumental creations. There is no longer any doubt that the earliest of these monuments may be dated at least two thousand years be- fore Christ. The marvellous technical skill, however, shown in raising these enormous structures, and in the admirable

1 Cf. Denkm. d. Kunst, plates 4 and 5. Description de I'Eg^'pte, &c. Paris, 1820. Rosellini, I Monumenti dell Egitto e della Nubia. Pisa, 1834. R. Lepsius, Denkm. aus Aegypten und Aethiopien. Berlin, 1849. Gau. Denkm. von Nubian. Stuttgart and Paris, 1822. [Fergusson, Histor)' of Architecture. London, 1S59. Murray's Hand-Book for Egypt contains an excellent account of the Pyramids ; and the reader should consult Egypt, Past and Present, by Miss Martineau, the best account of Egypt written in English. See also Baedeker's Guide-Book for Egypt, 1S77. Kenrick's Ancient Egypt, London, 1850. Wilkin- son's Ancient Egyptians. This last profusely and delightfully illustrated.]

22 History of Art.

finish given to them by the chisel, prove that they are the re- sults of knowledge obtained by long experience in the practice of architecture.^ The severe primitive form, devoid of all orna- ment, marks at the same time the artistic striving of a mighty primeval period. The immense mass of these mountains, like huge artificial crystals, — the largest is reckoned to contain eighty-five millions of cubic feet, — enclosed a small vaulted chamber containing the sarcophagus of the ruler. Narrow, steeply-inclined passages, the openings to which are concealed by a coating of granite covering the whole exterior, lead into the tomb within. The most various and ingenious precautions

1 The author here conforms to the ordinary way of speaking of the mechanical skill of the ancient Egyptians. But it may safely be asserted that the opinion of those who have most carefully studied the subject inclines to the belief, that time and a vast number of human hands were the chief means employed in the transport of masses of stone, and in raising them to the places they were to occupy. The whole subject will be found discussed in Soldi's La Sculpture ^gyptienne, pp. 1 15-126. It may not be amiss to translate a passage quoted by Soldi from a work by M. Lebronne, — " De la Civilisation e;;yptienne depuis I'Eta- blissement des Grecs sous Psammetichus jusqu'a la Conquete d' Alexandre," — Paris, Fournier, 1845 : " And in fact in no Egyptian painting do we see either pullies, — whether simple or in combination, — or capstans, or machines of any kind whatever ; yet, if the Egyptians had been in the habit of employing such things, we should expect to find them portrayed in a bass-relief of Osortasen, which represents the transportation of a colossus. I f six thousand men did not suffice, they took ten thousand ; as many, in short, as they could bring to bear on a single point and to a single end. This remarkable bass-relief" (of a portion of which M. Soldi gives a woodcut) "will, no doubt, convince many, who have hitherto held firmly to a different opinion, that the mechanics of the Egyptians, like that of the present Hindoos and the Mexicans, who, under Montezuma, transported enormous masses of stone without machines of any sort, con- sisted in the employment of very simple means, infinitely multiplied and skilfully combined, the result of a long experience in moving heavyweights." M. Soldi then tells this interesting anecdote: "A fact related by Mariette-Bey shows that this simplicity of means in the mechanics of the ancient Egyptians has continued to be characteristic of the race down to our own day. M. Marictte, wishing to get possession of a sarcophagus buried at the bottom of a shaft, applied to the European engineers to get it out for him. These asked such a sum, how- ever, for merely bringing to the place the pullies and ropes necessary for their work, that M. Mariette was on the point of abandoning the sarcophagus, when two Egyptians, who had learned what was going on, offered to get it out for him for half the sum demanded by the engineers. Mariette having accepted their offer, one of them descended into the shaft with a lever and some pieces of wood ; and while, by means of these, he gradually lifted the sar- cophagus, the other man, who had remained at the mouth of the shaft, kept throwing down sand. In the course of time the pit was filled with sand, and the sarcophagus was brought to the surface." — Soldi, p. 122.

ConstriLction of the Pyramids. 23

in construction secure the roof of these chambers against the immense pressure of the mass above. Either the mighty stone beams of the' roof are supported Hke rafters against each other, or, in order to discharge the weight, a system of hollow spaces, one above the other, is contrived above the chamber, formed by the projection of the horizontal layers of stone. The building of the Pyramids, as may be still perceived by several of these which were left unfinished, was made after the plan of a ter- race-like step-structure, diminishing as it rose ; while the angles formed by the steps were filled up in a reverse manner, begin- ning from the top, and forming the regular sloping pyramidal figure. There are examples of Pyramids which have been made much larger than was originally intended, by having, at a later period, received a complete new casing over the first one. The material for these mighty buildings consists, in some instances, of limestone, and in others of bricks. The most primitive architectural works in Egypt were formed, most prob- ably, like those of Mesopotamia, of the latter material, the preparation of which was one of the severe and compulsory duties exacted of the Israelites. The desire for the highest monumental character in their buildings, however, led the Egyptians early to make use of the rich quarries of every kind of stone afforded by the mountain-ranges on both sides of the Nile. In the Pyramids, too, we find the working of stone already brought to such a high degree of perfection, that we may argue long practice in the art.

The three largest pyramids are in the neighborhood of Cairo, near the village of Gizeh ; and, from their inscriptions, they owe their origin to the kings Chufu (Cheops), Shafra (Chefren), and Mencheres (Mycerinus.) That of Shafra appears to be the oldest : at its base it measured originally more than seven hundred feet square, with a height of above four hundred feet. Still higher is the Pyramid of Chufu, which originally covered a square base of seven hundred and sixty-four feet, having a height of four hundred and eighty feet. It contains the unusual

24 History of Art.

number of three chambers, the lowest of which is buried deep in the rocky stone of the foundation. Considerably less in extent is the Pyramid of Mencheres, which only measures three hundred and fifty-four feet square, and two hundred and eighteen feet in height ; but it far surpasses both the others in beautiful and careful execution. When entered by Col. Vyse (in 1837), the sepulchre still contained the sarcophagus of the king ; but, in its transport to England, the latter was subse- quently lost off the coast of Spain. On the east side of each pyramid there is a small shrine, probably designed for funeral obsequies. Although only ruined remains are left of these structures, there exists in the neighborhood of these three gigantic buildings a no less gigantic work of sculpture, which manifests a similar striving after grandeur of effect ; namely, the colossal Sphinx, standing in front of the group of pyramids, — a mighty lion's body with a human head (Fig. 10).^ This work of sculpture, which is almost completely covered over with the sand of the desert, is sixty-five feet high, and one hundred and forty-two feet long, and is entirely formed from an isolated ridge of rock, — an astonishing evidence of unsur- passable skill in the use of the chisel, and a manifestation of

[1 " The Sphinx, which the researches of M. Marietta have proved to be of even greater antiquity than the pyramid, is buried in the sand, with the exception of the back, shoulders, and head. Early in the century, excavations made by Cav'aglia revealed the complete form and arrangement of the monument, and proved the correctness of the description and of the dimensions given by Pliny. Successive terraces and flights of steps led, by a gradual approach from the plain, to a paved courtyard enclosed between the stretched-out paws of the sphinx. Against the breast of the spiiinx a sanctuary was constructed of three tablets. One of these, of granite, was attached to the breast, and formed the end of the sanctuary ; and the other two, placed right and left, at right angles, formed the sides. The front-paws, which are fifty feet in length, are cased with hewn stone. The body is formed of the uncut natural rock, with pieces of badly worked sandstone masonry added here and there in order to bring it to the required shape. The head is cut out of the solid rock, and measures nearly tliirty feet from the top of the forehead to the bottom of the chin, and about fourteen feet across. It was formerly covered with a cap, probably the fshciit (see Fig. 24, c), terminating in an asp erect. The wig still hangs, a huge mass of stone on either side the head. Orig'.nally it had a beard, fragments of which were found in the area below. Traces of the red color mentioned by Pliny may still be seen on the right cheek." — Murray's Hand-Book, pp. 193-196. The writer quotes the admirable descriptions of Eothen and A. P. Stanley.]

Private Tombs : their Plan.


power in accomplishing such a task as could only be shown by servile people under despotic government.

In the immediate vicinity of the Pyramids there are some ex- tensive private tombs ; and in the midst of these immeasurable and uniform burial-grounds rise those gigantic royal tombs, just as the Pharaohs themselves rose above the mass of the

Fig. 10. Sphinx and Pyramid of Gizeh.

subject people. These private tombs are more or less deeply hewn out of the natural rock.^ They begin with a small sanctuary intended for funeral-rites ; and from this a perpen- dicular shaft leads down into the sepulchre itself. Besides numerous metaphorical representations, the interior is fre-

[1 " The pyramid platform of Gizeh was one of the cemeteries of Memphis, and, as such, abounds in tombs belonging to various epochs : but the greater number, and those to which the greatest interest attaches, belong to the ancient empire ; i.e., the period extending from the first to the nineteenth dynasty (5004-128S B.C., Mariette). These tombs consist generally of three parts: i. An exterior temple, or chapel, containing one or more chambers, always accessible by means of doors opening at will ; 2. A vertical well leading from one (f these chambers, or from some concealed corner of the chapel to, 3. A sepulchral chamber, in which was buried the mummy ; the lower part of the well and the whole of the sepulchral chamber being cut out of the solid rock. Sometimes the exterior temple was a constructed monument on the plain ; sometimes it was hollowed out of the side of the hill. Specimens of both kinds occur at the Pyramids. . . . The walls of the interior chamber are covered witli repre- sentations of the scenes and occupations amidst which the life of the deceased person was passed. At a later period of Egyptian history, these pictures of domestic life were superseded by mysterious rehgious emblems." — Murray, Hand-Book, p. 196. Mariette, Notice dcs Principaiix Monuments exposes dans le Musee d Ant'iquites cgyptiennes h Boidaq. Le Caire, 1S74, p. 25.]

26 History of Art.

quently decorated with architectural ornaments, imitating in gay colors a wooden trellis-work. The lintel of the entrance also distinctly reminds us of a wooden construction ; for in many cases there is a cylindrical, trunk-like beam uniting the two door-posts ; and even the ceilings of the apartments are repeatedly made in imitation of pieces of wood fastened together. Where the size of the apartments has rendered support necessary, this has been introduced in the form of square pillars, which are united either by a rectangular archi- trave, or by rounded beams. A ribbon-like astragal surrounds the walls, which are crowned with a strongly projecting concave cornice, surmounted by an abacus ; a form which, we shall see, passed also into Persian art. Both of these forms prevail through the whole duration of Egyptian art. The ceilings of these tombs are often completely arched with Nile tiles. The use of columns as an architectural feature, on the other hand, does not seem to occur in this epoch.

A second golden age of the ancient kingdom, about two thousand years before Christ, and comprising the twelfth dynasty, is marked in the first place by the mighty obelisk of King Sesurtesen (Osirtasen) I. at Heliopolis. In this work, pe- culiarly characteristic as it is of the Egyptian mode of thought, the rude stone monumental pillar has transformed itself into a fixed geometric figure, rising upwards as a monolithic mass with a square base, gradually diminishing, and ending in a pyramidal point.' To this period we may also assign the tombs

[1 " Small models of obelisks are found in the tombs of the age of the pyramid-builders, and represented in their hieroglyphics ; but the oldest public monument of the class known to exist is that at Heliopolis, erected by Osirtasen, the great king of the twelfth dynasty. It is, like all the others, a single block of beautiful red granite of Syene, cut with all the precision of the age, tapering slightly towards the summit, and of about the average proportion, being about ten diameters in height : exclusive of the top, it is sixty-seven feet four inches. The two finest known to exist are that now in the piazza of the Latcran in Rome (San Giovanni in Laterans), erected by Thothmes III., one hundred and five feet in height, and that still standing at Karnac, erected by Thothmes I., ninety-three feet six inches in height. Those of Luxor, erected by Rhamses the Great, one of which is now in Paris (Place de la Concorde), are above seventy-seven feet in height ; and there are two others in Rome, each above eighty

Tombs of Belli -Hassan. — Forms of Columns. 27

of Beni-Hassan in Central Egypt (Fig. 11), at the entrance-halls of which, as well as in the interior, for the first time, it seems, a regular and finished colonnade appears. We see here how the square pillar gave place to the octagonal, and then to the sixteen-sided form ; the latter having shallow concave flutings, in order better to mark the narrow sides. Above the archi- trave which connects the columns, there is a cornice designed

Fig. II. Tomb of Beni-Hassan.

in imitation of the projecting rafters of a wooden roof. The column is connected with the ground by means of a circular disk : it is separated from the architrave by a large projecting square plinth. Besides this form of column we here meet with another, evidently fashioned in imitation of vegetable forms (Fig. 12). The shaft, which is sharply drawn in at the foot, seems composed of four united plant-stalks, fastened together at the upper narrowed end by a band several times wound round them. Above these bands — the neck of the column — rises the capital, also in four divisions, in the form of a closed lotus- flower, and crowned with a square plinth. These new motives

feet. Rome, indeed, has twelve of these monuments within her walls, — a greater number than exist, erect at least, in the country whence they came ; though, judging from the number that are found adorning single temples, it is difficult to calculate how many must have once existed in Egypt." — Fergusson, Hand-Book of ArchitecUire, vol. i. p. 246.]


History of Art.

closed the circle of Egyptian architectural forms ; and all the innumerable works of subsequent brilliant periods only suc- ceeded in developing more richly, and in fashioning with greater variety, the original designs.

When, after the expulsion of the Hyksos, the new kingdom rose with greater power and splendor, owing to the growing national pride of the Egyptians, Thebes became the centre of rule ; and here for centuries the proud ambition of the Pharaohs found satisfaction in the execution of the most magnificent mon- uments. Far beyond the lower country — in- deed, deep into Asia, and up the Nile into conquered Nubia and Abyssinia — the tokens of the dominion of the Pharaohs were displayed in mighty works. The period of the highest development extends from the eighteenth to the twentieth dynasty, from the sixteenth to the end of the thirteenth century B.C. In this period especially, the system of Egyptian architecture was fully completed ; an ever-recurring form for the design of the temples was adopted ; and the differ- ent parts of the building were brought into an harmonious and characteristic whole.

Upon broad brick terraces, raised high above the flat banks of the stream, stood the Egyptian temple,' a strictly isolated

Fig. 12. Capital of Beni-Hassan.




sloping walls, crowned with the

overshadowing concave cornice, surround its enclosure, and invest the whole with a solemn and mysterious character. No opening for windows, no colonnade, interrupts the monotonous surface of the temple-wall, which is covered as with a gigantic tapestry, with brilliantly-colored intaglio sculptures and hiero-

[1 " palace-temple or temple-palace would be a more appropriate term for these build- ings than to call them simply temples. They do not seem to have been appropriated to the worship of any particular god, but rather for the great ceremonials of royalty, of kingly sacrifice to the gods for the people, and of worship of the king by the people." — Fekgusson, Hand- Book of Architecture, vol. i. p. 231.]

Egyptian Temples : their Description.


glyphics, representations of the gods and the rulers. On the short side of the vast parallelogram, on that facing the river- bank, stands the narrow, lofty entrance, between two tower-like,

Fig. 13. Restored View of an Egyptian Temple.

sloping Structures (pylons), rising high above all the rest of the building (Fig. 14, a). In front of these pylons, hollows are made for the insertion of great masts (Fig. 14, c,f), which, on

Fig. 14. Details of an Egyptian Temple.

Fig. 15. Statue and Obelisk.

festive occasions, were surmounted by pendent flags. The entrance-gate, like the pylons and the surrounding walls, is crowned with the same lofty cornice (Fig. 14, b, c) which plays


History of Art.

so great a part in Egyptian architecture. Extensive double rows of colossal sphinxes or rams often lead to the entrance, which is sometimes guarded by obelisks, or gigantic statues of rulers (Fig. 15).

Entering through the narrow portal, we find ourselves in a forecourt under the open sky, enclosed all round, or on three sides, with stone-covered corridors, which are attached to the surrounding walls, and open towards the court with colonnades (Fig. 16). This forecourt is never lacking in Egyptian temples :

Fig. 16. Longitudinal Seciion and Gruuud-Plan of ihe Temple of Cliensu at Karnak.

it is sometimes, in important buildings, repeated after a second or even a third pair of pylons. This forecourt is succeeded by a hall, often no less in extent ; and the mighty stone ceiling of this hall rests on columns placed in rows. The two middle rows, corresponding with the longitudinal axis of the

The Egyptian Temple. — Karnak. 3 1

building, consist of stronger and taller columns, which sup- port a higher ceiling ; so that a lofty central nave is formed, with a clere-story, the side walls of which supply the apartment with light through broad and mullioned windows. Passing through this hall, which is also an integral part of an Egyptian temple, the inner part of the sanctuary is reached by a succes- sion of smaller or larger apartments and halls, the innermost of which is the narrow, low, and mysteriously gloomy cella. Here, in mysterious darkness, was enthroned the form of the god.^ Little that is certain is as yet known with regard to the use and importance of the separate apartments : probably the inner courts were only accessible to the priests, and to the initiated, who there solemnized the worship of the gods ; whilst the adoring multitude may have filled the vast forecourts. In all the apartments, the ceilings, pillars, and walls, like the outer walls, are covered with metaphorical figure-subjects, which, with their varied and splendid colors, and the wonderful symbolism of their designs, increase to the utmost the strong impression made by the buildings themselves.

The remains of the " hundred-gated " Thebes, mighty even in their ruin, are scattered over a vast area on both banks of the river, and have been named after the modern villages estab- lished among the rubbish of the decayed city. The temples seem to belong especially to the eastern bank, the point, accord- ing to Egyptian notions, not only of dawn, but of life. Among them, the Temple of Karnak stands forth as the largest and most important, the sacred palladium of the kingdom. Founded by Sesurtesen I. in the time of the "ancient kingdom," it re- ceived, under the rulers of the later kingdom, constant additions and enlargements ; so that finally, with a breadth of three hun- dred and seventy feet, its length exceeded eleven hundred and thirty feet. Passing through the mighty gateway with its flank- ing pylons, to which an avenue of colossal ram-sphinxes, about

[1 The author can hardly mean to be taken literally, since the sanctuary is not believed to have contained any image of any god.]

32 History of Art.

two hundred feet in length, led up, a spacious forecourt was reached, three hundred and twenty-nine feet broad, and two hundred and seventy-five feet deep, with a covered corridor on either side, and a double line of columns down the centre. A notable violation of the laws that regulated the plan of an Egyptian temple meets us in this forecourt, the northern wall of which is broken by a smaller sanctuary, about two hundred feet long by eighty feet wide. This temple, which is entered from the court itself, was added, at a much later period, by Rhamses II. Passing from the forecourt, between two still more colossal pylons, the columned hall was reached, — the mightiest in the world, — built by Sethos I. and his successors during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries B.C. Its stone ceiling was supported by a hundred and thirty-four columns, the middle twelve of which, larger and taller than the rest, enclose a lofty central nave. These central columns rise to a height of sixty-six feet ; wdiilst the smaller ones, distributed in seven rows on either side of the central twelve, are only forty feet high. This immense hall, with its area of 55,930 square feet, is like a magnificent cathedral. A third propylon closed the great hall on the eastern side. Beyond, on the east side,_ and extending across the entire width of the building, is a nar- row, uncovered court, in which stood two granite obelisks, erected by Thutmes I. ; and behind these was a fourth propy- lon, at which the true sanctuary begins. Here in labyrinthine complexity are open and covered courts, chambers, chapel-like apartments, and columned halls, connected by corridors and galleries strangely intermingled ; so that nowhere so plainly as in this gigantic monument do we see the intricate system of enclosure that prevails in Egyptian architecture. Significant colossal figures are often placed against the walls, combined with projecting pillars : all the surfaces are covered with richly painted imagery, in which symbolic subjects and religious cere- monies alternate with historical representations of royal heroic deeds. The inner chambers were chiefly built by Thutmes III, and his sister.

Forms of Capitals at Karnak.


As was usually the case, the details of the architectural ornamentation are here also principally displayed in the col- umns, for which there were clearly defined forms, of the grand- est effect, and fully corresponding with the powerful impression of the whole. Thus, in the columned hall, the smaller columns have the closed lotus capital, already seen at Beni-Hassan (Fig. 17). But the slavish imitation of the natural growth of the plant is no longer sought for as it was there : the capital is changed, like the stem, into a compact concentrated mass, the surface of which is decorated with gay hieroglyphics. But, in


Fig. 17. Capital at Karnak.

Fig. 18. Capital at Karnak.

the laro-er columns of the two central rows, a new form of capi- tal appears (Fig. 18), which takes for its motive an opened lotus calyx, and thus introduces a new artistic form into the estab- lished system of architectural ornamentation. In order that the widely projecting edge of the architrave might not be encumbered and interfered with, the small square plinth was retained, as in the other capitals.

Among other buildings belonging to this group is the great Temple of Luxor, which is connected with the temple at Kar- nak by an avenue of colossal sphinxes ; and also the so-called Sepulchre of Osymandyas, a temple really erected by Rhamses the Great, — one of the finest monuments in Egypt. Farther

34 History of Art.

up, on the western banks, are the important remains of a temple at Medinet-Habu ; and still farther north there is a temple at Kurna, which, irregular in design and without a propylon, has in front a portico of ten columns. It bears an inscription with the date of Sethos I. The powerful impression made by all these ruins is increased by two colossal sitting figures, which formerly belonged to a temple now entirely destroyed. The most northern of these is the famous statue of Memnon. According to their inscription, they owe their origin to King Amenhotep III., and represent his mother and consort. There are besides, on the western side of the river, extensive rocky tombs, in which the rulers of the Theban dynasty are buried with their families. These tombs of the Theban necropolis lie in narrow, desolate mountain-defiles, where the burning sun destroys every trace of life. We first come upon those of the queens (Biban c' Sultanat), and next upon those of the kings (Biban el moluk), of the eighteenth to the twentieth dynasty. In one of the principal of these tombs, that of Sethi I., com- monly called Belzoni's Tomb, after the name of the discoverer, a dark shaft leads from a forecourt into the depth of the rock, and opens into a large hall, the ceiling of which rests on pillars ; and, from the splendor of its wall-paintings, it bears the name of "the golden." Here stood the sarcophagus of the king, and the richly-painted representations on the walls relate to his des- tiny after death. Other important monuments meet us farther south, especially in Nubia. Many of these sanctuaries exhibit an essentially different form, the ground-plan being more sim- ple, and their cella being surrounded with a corridor of pillars, or piers, as is the case with the southern temple built by Amen- hotep III. on the Isle Elephantine (Fig. 19).' Other important monuments are the rock-cut temples of Girsheh, Derri, and

[1 " At the beginning of the present century there were the remains of two temples in Ele- phantine, — one a very interesting one, built by .Amunoph III. (Amenhotej) '. They were de- stroyed in 1822 by the then governor of Assovan in order to obtain stone for building a palace." —Murray's Hand-Book, p. 465. For a note on these temples, see Fergusson, Hand-Book of Architecture^ vol. i. p. 240. J

Later forms of Capitals.


Ipsambul, the latter having a lofty faqadc of rock, richly chis- elled, the principal decoration of which consists in immense colossal statues of Rhamses the Great. The caves of Girsheh have, in place of these, an open forecourt and stately propy- lons. Many smaller works — such as the enclosure for sacred animals, Typhonia, and other things — are situated in the neigh- borhood of the chief temple.

Fig. ig. Temple at Elephantine.

The later epochs of Egyptian architecture exhibit in their works generally less grandeur of plan ; but this is compensated by a richer and more varied handling of the architectural mem- bers. It is especially in the capitals of columns that the motive of the opened calyx of the lotus-flower appears in the most beautiful variations (Fig. 20). In addition to these rich forms, we find one that is entirely fanciful in its symbolism, — that of the four heads of the goddess Hathor, on the top of which a cube-like structure, fashioned like a small temple, receives the entablature (Fig. 21). The most important of these later de- signs are those of the temple on the Island of Philas, erected

o5 History of Art.

under the Ptolemies ; the magnificent temple at Edfu, and the ruins at Esneh ; and, lastly, the splendid temple at Denderah, founded by Queen Cleopatra. The pyramidal form repeatedly occurs in this later period, as the pyra- mids in the Island of Meroe in Nubia testify. These works, compared with the pyramids of Memphis, are not only very

Fig. 20. Capital from Edfu. Fig. 21. Capital from Denderah.

much smaller, but also steeper, and slenderer in form, with small forecourts or pylonic buildings in connection with them.^


During a period of more than three thousand years, sculp- ture, the true companion of architecture, produced among the Egyptians an abundance of monuments in no wise inferior to the grandeur of their architectural works.- But just as the architectural forms, if we set aside certain peculiarities of treat- ment, remain essentially the same throughout that long period, affording us an example, only possible in the East, of an activity ever in motion, combined with a formal, monotonous style, de- void of the power of deeper organic development, so is it also with the art of sculpture. Whatever finer distinctions in the

[1 Fergusson, Hand-Book of Architecture, vol. i. p. 250.]

2 Denkmaler d. Kunst, Plate 6. The most valuable recent contribution on this subject will be found in La Sculpture 6gyptienne, par E. Soldi, Paris, 1876. Also in L'Egypte a Petites Journees par A. Rhone, Paris, 1876. Both these books contain valuable illustrations.

Painting and Sculpture among the Egyptians. 2>7

conception of forms may have been discovered by the ingenuity of more modern research, the indwelling idea, the range of view, the relation of sculpture to architecture, — ay, even the types and subjects of representation, — remained the same for thou- sands of years, fixed and unchangeable as the nature of the

Nile Valley.

The reason of this remarkable fact can only be found in the position which the arts of representation occupied among the Egyptians. This position may be briefly summed up in the statement, that sculpture and painting, whether used in decorat- ing the immense wall-spaces and columns and ceilings with figures and reliefs, or rearing colossal figures in front of the en- trances, against the pillars of the courts, or in the interior of the sanctuary, in every case were absolutely subordinated to^ the architecture. It is true that in all countries this has been the primitive condition of the plastic arts ; and, even among the Greeks, sculpture had at first to conform to the laws of archi- tecture. Still, wherever a free unfolding of the individual mind made its way among the people, and plastic works began to be inspired by its breath, the chains were soon burst asunder ; and works of sculpture, resting on their own strength, stood apart from the creations of architecture in a beauty of their own. That this spirit of the free development of the indi- vidual was lacking among the Egyptians, that, in true Oriental subjection, they blindly followed one despotic will, is the deeper reason why the plastic art could not rise in this people from its dependent position. We have here pointed out that element which characterizes the Oriental turn of mind in general, which subordinates all their artistic productions to the inexorable laws of architecture, and stifles in the germ all individual intellectual life. In the same manner, although wdth national modifications, we shall find this the case with all the other races of the East.

In this respect it is certainly a remarkable trait that Egyptian sculpture aims decidedly at portraiture in its oldest works, in the remains left us of the early period of the old kingdom of


History of Art'.

Memphis. This is to be seen not only in the two remarkable priestly figures in the Louvre at Paris, and in the small figure of a scribe in the same collection, but also in the seven sitting statues of King Chefren which Mariette found in the neighbor- hood of the Pyramids, and which are in the museum at Boulaq. This realistic tendency appears with astonishing clearness in a wooden figure belonging to the same early period, and also in the museum at Eoulaq ; which proves that a high degree of freedom in the life-like representation of natural forms had thus early been arrived at. If, in such remote antiquity, we see a conscious artistic striving after individual characterization, we might suppose that a free and vigorous plastic art would develop itself : but, far from this, the genius of Egyptian art reached only to the conception of the casual and the external ; and very soon this marked naturalism which prevailed in the early time was obliged to yield to the stronger taste for a style more

Fig. 22. Wooden statue. • i -^i ii i -^ i. r ^i

Found by Mariette at ^^ accordancc With tlic architecture of the sakkarah. Museum at couutry.' Whenever a deeper spiritual sense

Boulaq. "^ ^ ^

begins to lie beneath the features, whenever the living expression of subjective feeling and of individual mind was to be expressed in the lineaments, the insurmount- able barrier arose. Hence, in spite of portraiture, there is the endless repetition of the same kingly figure ; hence in the sphinx avenues, as in the pillared halls, there is the monotonous return of the same statues, with the same fixed typical expression, the same imperious bearing, the same symbolic attributes : so that the human form, like that of the animals, is held fettered by the general conception of the species, — the one in no way superior to the other, either in expression, or in the marks of distinctly stamped individual

\} But see Soldi, La Sculpture egyptienne, pp. 15-21.]

For7nal Treatment of the Figure. 39

being. This strict uniformity controls the entire bearing in all statues. In the sitting figures, according to Oriental etiquette, the feet are placed equally side by side : the upper part of the body maintains a strictly solemn position, the head directed forwards with a fixed gaze ; and, as if to crown the apathetic repose of the whole, both arms, with their flat outstretched hands, fit close to the upper part of the body and to the thighs, as if moulded at one cast. The same absolute repose is pre- served by the standing figures frequently placed against the front of pillars, the same fixed look, — legs closely joined, and arms crossed over the breast, not as the Caryatides and Atlan- tides of Greek art, with the strained energy of support, but, in Oriental passiveness, leaning against the architectural members. Still these mighty figures, which Egyptian art loved to fashion in colossal size, are as different from the dreamily tender or wild fantastic figures of the Hindoos as they are from the strong, compact, and somewhat coarsely-inclined creations of Assyrian art. Egyptian sculpture presents to our view a sin- ewy, slender, and elastic race of beings. Breast and shoulders are without roundness, broad and powerful ; the arms long, sinewy, and muscular ; the body, with slender hips and legs, inclining rather to leanness than to stoutness, and everywhere exhibiting in the clearly expressed play of muscles the physical capacity of a people accustomed to work and to endurance. The heads (Fig. 23), in spite of their predilection for por- traiture, have a decided national stamp of unmistakable Se- mitic descent. The form of the skull is flat ; and this, joined to the extremely low and receding brow, gives the idea of a defi- ciency of idealism. The small oval and obliquely placed eyes suggest acuteness and cunning. The nose, with the delicate bridge slightly curved, coming out from between the broad prominent cheek-bones, is brought into close union with the projecting lower parts of the face, to which the mouth, with its voluptuous lips, and its corners drawn upwards, gives an ex- pression of sensuous love of ease. We perceive even in the


History of Art.

national physiognomy that this people was predetermined rather for the realistic representation of intellectual life than for higher ideal creations.

Fig. 23. Egyptian Heads in Relief.

The forms of the body are treated throughout with intelli- gence (Fig. 24). The firm build of the whole, the meaning and movement of the limbs, is clearly comprehended. The drapery, for the most part, is limited to only an apron. The hair is com- pletely concealed by a cap, which, in the rulers, was combined with the simple or double crown, or a fantastic head-dress com- posed of symbolic attributes. The beard, also, was ingeniously wound round in a similar manner, and curiously bent into the form of a hook. It was undoubtedly of importance, for the understanding of the human form, that the climate and the custom of the country prescribed only scanty clothing ; and even the fuller, richer drapery we so often meet with in the wall-paintings was formed of light, transparent material. Thus the constant contemplation of the human form must have made the artist sufficiently acquainted with it. Nevertheless, to put this knowledge into practice was only allowed under strict limitation ; as, even in the earliest period, a fixed canon,

Egyptia7i Sculpture. — Canon of Proportions. 41

of strict arithmetical proportions, was laid down for the forms of the body, and accurate adherence to this was enjoined by the law. This canon, it is true, was exchanged for another at a later period, when greater slenderness of proportion was desired ; and even this, under the Ptolemies, had to give way to a third. In spite of all these changes, which were in reality

Fig. 24. Egyptian Wall-Paintings.

only the fluctuations of fashion due to foreign influences, we find the ancient canon adhered to through thousands of years, fettering all free movement, and closing the way to independent artistic works. ^ The part the sculptor played in the work was limited to the execution ; and even this, from the general diffu- sion of skill, became degraded into mere handicraft. It never occurs to any one to inquire after the author of this or that colossal work, since the everlasting sameness of the repetitions, necessitated by the existence of one fixed model, suggests rather the hand of the manufacturer than that of the independent artist. With this is also connected the astonishing certainty

[1 But see Soldi, La Sculpture egyptienne, p. 94.]

44 ^ History of Art.

and unwearied care with which the hardest materials, granite and basalt, are worked with the same minute accuracy in colos- sal works as in those of the smallest dimensions, — an accuracy shown everywhere in the countless hieroglyphic writings on columns, pillars, obelisks, pedestals, walls, and sarcophagi. That Egyptian art chiefly symbolizes the greatness of the gods and god-descended rulers by colossal figures is to be explained partly by the equally colossal size of the buildings, and partly by a deficient intellectual life, which instinctively seeks to compen- sate by size for what it lacks in meaning. Seated figures of the Pharaohs, statues placed against piers, and sculptured sphinxes and rams, from twenty to thirty feet high, are not unusual. The six standing figures on the facade of the smaller stone temple at Ipsambul measure thirty-five feet ; the four sitting statues of the great Rhamses, in the principal temple there, are more than sixty feet high ; Memnon, with its gigantic companions among the ruins of Medinet-Habu, is seventy feet high ; and the famous Sphinx at the Pyramids of Memphis has a length of a hundred and forty-two feet.

Colossal and numerous as these works of sculpture are, they are still far surpassed in extent by the boundless abundance of reliefs exhibited on all the walls of the temples, palaces, and tombs. In their infinite variety, embracing all forms of exist- ence, in their animated and lifelike reality, they supply the deficiencies of the detached figures, and form, as it were, a reverse side to their solemn seriousness. Their object is solely that of a chronicle-like and faithful historical narrative, a detailed account of the whole life of the Egyptians. Even in the earliest tombs of the old kingdom, which carry us back to about three thousand years B.C., the simple labors of agri- culture and cattle-breeding, the relations and affairs of a many- sided private life, are faithfully and fully depicted. The types, the mode of expression, the laws of plastic art, were already established, even in this early time, for this kind of represen- tation, and were confirmed by long use. At a later period, on

Egyptian Sculpture. — Subjects of the Bass- Reliefs. 43

the s-israntic walls of the Theban monuments and of the other memorials of the golden age of the new kingdom, we see plainly represented, sometimes in the tombs, all the incidents of private life, — work and employments of various kinds, recre. ations and games such as are still in practice amongst us, cheerful social doings and festive entertainments, as well as religious ceremonies, sacrifices, and other solemn acts, burials, and even the destiny of the soul ; sometimes again, and this especially on the walls of temples and palaces, the events in the life of the ruler, — solemn political acts and animated hunts; peaceful incidents and warlike enterprises ; mighty hosts, in which the king, colossal in height, and towering above every thing else, taller than men and cities, rushes along in his battle- chariot over the bocUes of his fallen foes (Fig. 25), laying low

Fig. 25. Relief at Kaniak. Sethos I.

whole armies with his weapon, or in sea-encounters sinking fleets of vessels full of armed men, and then at length seizing a kneeling people by their common hair, and hurling his battle-axe for the fatal stroke. Again : we meet with troops of conquered enemies, arranged in rows over each other, and brought before the enthroned despot to render humble homage ;

44 History of Art.

and in these reliefs the various races are clearly distinguished from one another by the way in which the characteristic physi- ognomy and dress of each is given. In all these representations, an accurate and chronicle-like report, an intelligible record of facts, is the only thing aimed at : only in the fact that the form of the king surpasses all others in size may even a trace of symbolism be perceived. But this, too, is another evidence of how Egyptian art, wherever it attempts to express intel- lectual pre-eminence, is compelled to have recourse to conven- tionally symbolic and purely external means.

That a deeper spiritual principle is lacking in Egyptian art, as in all Oriental art, is perceived also in the arrangement of these works. There is no idea of a composition in a high sense. The scenes are either arranged one over another in monotonous repetition, or, in more animated incidents, there is a confused jumble of figures. That in some instances regard is paid to the allotted space, and that the action delineated is often with great skill adapted to this space, is a matter of course in such an extensive exercise of the art : but generally the repre sentations cover the vast surface without any architectural principle of arrangement ; and everywhere an unimaginative naturalism prevails, which hardly recognizes a higher law of arrangement. But in another respect, also, the animated representations of life do not rise beyond the level of those severe and solemn statues already described. The passive repose of the latter arises, in truth, from the want of individual and intellectual life : the varied action of the former never goes beyond a merely bodily activity. No special intellectual prin- ciple, no life of thought, is expressed in their countenances. They cannot tell us any thing which goes beyond the sphere of simple practical doings ; and thus nothing but the fixed monotony of Oriental manners is recorded even in their most lively action. Hence, while in the course of centuries they por- tray for us all the manifold changes that took place in the life of the nation in spite of its stability, they show us no progress in

Egyptian Sculpture. — Technical Treatment. 45

thought, nor in artistic feeUng. Although the sculptured story may become richer and more animated ; although, after the zenith of prosperity reached by the new kingdom, a decline of power is evident, and a weaker expression is perceptible, and again, under the new regime, a fresher life makes its way, and this also gradually again degenerates ; still all these cannot be regarded, in a deeper sense, as phases in the development of art ; for such only occur when new ideas struggle into light in new modes of expression.

This leads us to the technical treatment of Egyptian sculp- ture. Although there is no lack of true relief-sculptures (though with but slight elevation from the surface), especially in the interior of the buildings, yet by far the greater number of the representations are executed in a manner especially peculiar to the Egyptians, called by French writers bass-reliefs en ereux, and by the Greeks koilanaglyphs} The figures do not completely stand out from the surface of the wall ; and they have only a faint glimmer of plastic life, from their outlines being slightly hollowed out, and the figure thus enclosed en- tirely painted with very decided colors, chiefly with red, blue, green, yellow, and black. These figures are indeed, in their effect, scarcely superior to those of the wall-paintings ; and they impart to the whole surface of the wall the appearance of richly embroidered brilliant tapestry. The preservation of the splendid colors, owing to their solid preparation and the favorable climate, is especially remarkable. This defective plastic modelling, and the slight hollow of the relief, corre- spond surprisingly with the little intellectual depth of these works, and with their lack of distinct character. The latter is so much the case in Egyptian sculpture, that there is even an absence of all distinction of age or sex ; and the thousands of

[1 Their upper surfaces were not raised above the plane of the wall, as is the case with true bass-reliefs ; but, the outline of the figure having been strongly cut in the stone, the portion within this line was softly rounded up from the edge, leaving the greater part of the figure on a level with the surface of the wall. " However," says C. O. MiUler, « they were often satisfied with engraving mere outlines, especially on external walls."]


History of Art.

figures, with a fixed uniform smile and stereotyped features, leave on the mind of the spectator one general impression. On the other hand, Egyptian art is much more successful in the representation of the animal creation, whose lower and more sensual characteristics are finely conceived, and repro- duced with living truthfulness to nature.

This flatness of relief is connected with other peculiarities of representation, which are adhered to as types through all the epochs of Egyptian art. The figures, for instance, are por- trayed with breast and arms turned front-ways, and with the feet and head in profile (Fig. 26). That this mode of position

Fig. 26. Sethns I., with Osiris, Isis, and Horus.

gave the figures a somewhat twisted appearance cannot have escaped the Egyptians, with their keen observation of nature ; and, indeed, instances are not lacking, in which, although with small result, the profile position has been endeavored to be

Egypt i a n Art. — Wall- Pa in ting.


consistently carried out. In fact, it was the slight depth of the relief which led to this conventional position, as, in such limited space, the perspective foreshortening of the separate parts could not easily be accomplished by the resources of their art. How this manner of representing the figure was introduced into the art of Central Asia, although it attained there to a more powerful modelling of reliefs, we shall see later.

Besides these representations in relief, wall-painting was employed to a great extent in many places, and especially, it would appear, in the rock-cut tombs. Thus the tombs of Beni-Hassan are adorned with numerous paintings relating to

Fig. 27. Subject from "The Book of llie Dead."

private life, and the royal tombs at Thebes are decorated with the most circumstantial details of every kind. The conception and style of these works call to mind the treatment of the relief- sculpture, although the feeling for modelling and rounding of forms appears still weaker in them than in the reliefs. The strong and decided outlines are simply filled with the necessary local color, without an attempt at sculptured effect by finer toning or shading. Here, too, we find the style most closely fettered ; and, during the whole duration of Egyptian art, no higher stage of development is attained.

48 History of Art.

A similar mode- of treatment is shown in the paintings with which the papyrus-rolls of the so-called " Book of the Dead" are ornamented, of which rolls the Museum of Turin possesses a fine example. In it was portrayed the fate of the soul after death, and it was put into the grave with the dead person. Here, also, are many genre-scenes from daily life, described with such a bright distinctness, that they constitute, perhaps, the most charming side of Eg}-ptian art (Fig. 2-]).

While we have learned to regard the whole wide circle of human affairs, and the events of public and private life, as the peculiar field of sculpture among the Egyptians, there is, on the other hand, no lack of representations of a symbolic re- ligious purport. But it is just these which prove, most of all, the lack of a high ideal feeling.

In order to distinguish the different gods of the country, recourse is had to outward symbols : the gods, fashioned in human form, bear the heads of animals, which serxe at the same time as the hieroglyphic sign of their names. Thus Thot receives the head of the ibis ; Rhe, that of the hawk ; Anubis is represented with a dog's head, and Ammon with a ram's : among the goddesses, Hathor bears the head of a cow, and Neith that of a lioness. The incapacity for the embodiment of ideas, and for e.xpressing them in the form of an individual character, could not be more strikingly manifested than by this strange symbolic combination, which could only be the product of unimaginative reflection. Although the combination of such heterogeneous elements, considered from a purely e.xternal point of view, is not accomplished without skill and understanding of form, still the important fact remains, that, in the represen- tation of the idea of deity, the lower animal forms are employed to represent the seat of the higher mental faculties. More agreeable is that riddle of the sphinx, familiar to Egyptian art, in which a lion's body is added to a human head, — a creation

Egyptian Art. — American Collections. 49

the grand character and mystically significant effect of which cannot be denied.'

[1 The Abbott Collection, in the possession of the New- York Historical Societ}-, and the Way Collection, in the Boston Museum of the Fine Arts, afford Americans the means of studjing in their own country the arts and antiquities of Egj-pt. As is too much the case, however, in our American museums, more attention is paid in both these collections to archae- ology than to art. But the Way Collection has been enriched, by the taste and generosit}- of one of the citizens of Boston, with many fine casts of busts and bass-reliefs from Egypt ; and it is hoped that more may be done m this direction.]




Westward from the Indus there stretches a vast extent of country, which, in the earliest ages, formed the central point of an important civilization. In contrast to the other regions of Asia, the overwhelming redundancy of nature here appears moderated. There is no lack, indeed, of fruitful districts, but between them extend inhospitable desert-wastes ; and man, in- stead of being surrounded with- a luxuriously productive nature, is impelled to active exertion in order to bring under subjection the opposing powers of nature. The position of these vast re- gions, which extend from the Indus to the Euphrates, has, from the earliest ages, brought their people into constant contact ; and as the climatic conditions from a very early period in- duced a spirit of energy, and made possible a mode of life of their own, an historical life — full of rapid change, and rich in exciting catastrophes — was developed; the supreme dominion over these lands connected by nature passing sometimes to one and sometimes to another of the races settled there.

The oldest seat of culture in these regions is to be found in Mesopotamia, the land lying between the Euphrates and the Tigris. Here also, as in Egypt, the progress of civilization was affected by mighty streams, which, in spite of certain differ- ences, still present many analogies with those of the Nile Val ley. As the Euphrates flows in a far higher bed, and is more rich in waters, than the deeper-lying and arrow-like Tigris, the 5°

Wofiders of Babylon. 5 1

whole level land is exposed to inundations in the spring, when the snows melt on the mountains of Armenia. These inundations early led the ingenious people to construct magnificent dams and dikes, and a system of canals. While man was thus com- pelled to rule the powers of nature and to render them service- able, in order that he might gain from them the conditions for a prosperous existence, the impulse for trade was awakened, the activity of the intellect was promoted, and a strong and energetic spirit was developed. Under these influences, far back in time, powerful kingdoms with mighty capitals, with a highly-advanced civilization and extensive commerce, rose on the banks of the Euphrates. Even the books of the Old Testa- ment sketch in grandly terse, impressive touches an image of the power and splendor of ancient Babylon, whose fabulous tower conveys a notion of gigantic undertakings, imposing even to the nations of that period. The religion of these people seems, in harmony with these works, to have been prac- tical and sensible, rather than fantastic or poetic ; and interests of temporal power and material gain were those which prepon- derated most in their partly warlike and partly commercial character.

The ancients, in their descriptions of the buildings of Baby- lon, tell of works of colossal extent, and of grand simplicity of design ; among them the Temple of Baal, which, pyramidal in form, rose in eight gradated stories upon a base of six hun- dred feet square, surpassing even the giant Pyramids of Egypt. Similar in grandeur of structure were the walls surrounding the immense city, and the two royal palaces, and the famous wonder of the hanging gardens of Semiramis. Nothing is left of these mighty monuments ; and only a row of shapeless heaps of rubbish — half buried in sand, and covered in spring with luxuriant vegetation — marks in the neighborhood of the village Hillah, on both sides of the Euphrates, the place where once stood .the proud mistress of the nations. This state of things is to be explained by the material which the Babylonians

5 2 History of Art.

were obliged to use, owing to the utter lack of stone in a land formed by alluvial deposit. All buildings were made of tiles which had been dried in the sun, asphaltum serving as mortar. The mighty elevation of Birs-i-Nimrud (which is supposed to be the Temple of Belus), that of Mudjelibe, and the so-called El Kasr (which appears to be identical with the new palace of Nebuchadnezzar), are the most important remains. The marks upon all the brick-work discovered refer to this king, and there- fore indicate the period about 600 B.C. Among works of sculpture a colossal granite lion has been discovered, which was probably placed as a guard at one ot the portals.

The remains of a terrace-pyramid, which are to be found at Mugeir, in the Lower-Euphrates -district, appear to belong to a still more remote antiquity. They form a parallelogram of a hundred and thirty-three by a hundred and ninety-eight feet ; and the interior substance, of sun-dried tiles, was covered with a facing of brick, which, with its slightly projecting pillars, had a kind of architectural construction. Tlicse ruins are regarded as the remains of a temple in the primeval city of Ur, or Hur, which was said to have been built about 2200 B.C. by King Uruk. Still more important are the ruins of an oblong palace- like building at Wurka, forty miles south of Bagdad, since they afford an instance of apparently very ancient wall-decoration. Small wedges of burnt clay are pressed upon the plaster ; and these, by being glazed over with various colors, form a tapestry- like pattern. Thus the famous tapestry-weaving of Babylon became a model for architectural wall-decoration.

More important remains have been brought to light in recent times by the excavations at Mosul, on the Upper Tigris. Heaps of remains of similar material stretch along the eastern bank of the river for about ten miles ; and these are supposed, with much probability, to be the ruins of Nineveh.^ The excavations,

1 Cf. Botta et Flandin, Monument de Ninive. Paris, 1849. Layard, The Monuments of Nineveh. London, 1849. Nineveh and its Remains. A Popular Account of Discoveries of Nineveh. Fresli Discoveries, &c. London, 1853. Vau.\, Nineveh and Persepolis. G. Raw-

Ruins of Nmeveh. — Discovej-ies of Botta and Place.


first undertaken by the French consul Botta, and then by Layard, have at least revealed the design and artistic decoration of these mighty buildings. They are all raised on brick ter- races thirty or forty feet high, and crowned with stone para- pets. The buildings are placed on the vast platform, arranged in an intricate and apparently irregular manner round an open court. They are, for the most part, long, narrow, corridor-like apartments and halls ; the principal apartment being sometimes a hundred and fifty feet long by only thirty or forty feet wide, enclosed with walls of excessive thickness (Fig. 28). Few traces are to be found of the way in which the apartments were roofed ; and there are equally few remains of independent supports, such as columns or pillars. Lately, how- ever, M. Place, who succeeded M. Botta as French consul at Mo- sul, in the course of his thorough research- es at Khorsabad has uncovered the remains of the vaulting, by which it is proved that some of the rooms were roofed with tunnel vaults, and others with domes. With all this, however, there seems to be a want of organic growth ; for we do not meet with any example of a strictly archi- tectural subdivision of the masses. On the contrary, the Assyrians conceived their wall-surfaces as vast tapestries, and covered them accordingly with a number of representations in relief. These sculptures are executed upon thick alabaster

Fig. 2S. Ground-Plan of the North-west Palace of Nimrud.

Hnson, The Five Great Monarchies of the Ancient Eastern World. 2 vols. London, 1862. V. Place, Ninive et I'Assyrie, avec des Essais de Restauration par F. Thomas. Fol. 2. vols. Paris, 1S65.


History of Art.

slabs, measuring as much as twelve feet square ; and these slabs are then fastened on the walls in several rows, one above another.^ The space between this sculptured wainscoting and the ceiling was often decorated with glazed and baked tiles of earthenware, ornamented with various designs. The floor also was paved with similar tiles ; and it is in the ornamentation of these that the decorative fancy of the Assyrians strikes out in a direction of its own (Fig. 29). There is often a highly elegant and tasteful arrangement of forms, the motive of which was

Fig. 29. Ornament at Ku)jundjik.

evidently the close imitation of an ancient and highly-developed art of weaving. Purely vegetable forms, palm-leaves, open and closed lotus-blossoms, form the most important element of this decoration. As for the way in which the upper portion of their

[1 Several fine specimens of these slabs are in the possession of the New-York Historical Society.]

Architecture of Nineveh. — Details.


buildings was constructed, a hint is furnished by certain bass- reliefs that remain, in which we see buildings rising terrace-like




i-^^ -^*.

rr- 1

Fig. 30. Details from Assyrian Palaces.

in several stories, each story being crowned with a gallery open ing with small colonnades (Fig. 30, b). The columns have a remarkable form of capital, in which two pairs of volutes, the

Fig. 3 1 . Details from Assyrian Palaces.

one above the other (cf. Fig. 30, c), are the main element. ^ A great increase of effect is produced at the portals, which are

[1 For fuller illustration, see Fergusson, Hand-Book of Architecture, vol. i. book iv. chap, i.]

5 6 History of Art.

guarded at each side with gigantic winged bulls having human heads. The gates themselves were, according to ancient records, formed of brass; which, in connection with other allusions to golden images of gods, altars, and the like, leads us to infer a predilection for the use of brilliant metals, and the technical skill resulting from their frequent employment.

We have no idea of the external appearance of these build- ings but from that afforded by the representations in relief. Rising in gradated terraces (Figs. 30, a, b, and 34), they obtain liffht and air through the colonnades introduced at the upper portions; sometimes, also, through openings which M. Place has shown to have been left in the vaulting. Fig. 24, c, affords a view of the granite breast-wall of the stylobate of the palace at Khorsabad, with its deeply-fluted cornice. The surfaces of the walls in a suite of apartments on the lower terrace of this palace are either smooth, or broken by decorated pilasters and hollowed vertical stripes (Fig. 30, a, and Fig. 34). The whole is frequently finished with battlements, which are sometimes cut in a step-like form (Fig. 30, c, d). That the flat roofs of the lower terraces often contained small-pleasure grounds, with plantations of palms and cedars, may be gathered from many sculptures, such as Fig. 30, a, b. We are involuntarily re- minded by them of what the ancients tell us of the " hanging garders " of Semiramis.^ The columns met with on these

[1 "The wor^t feature of all this splendor was its ephemeral character; though, perhaps it is owing to this very fact that we now know so much about it. Had these buildings been constructed like those of the ancient Egyptians, their remains would probably have been applied to other purposes long ago ; but having been overwhelmed so early, and forgotten, they have been preserved to our day. And it is not difficult to see how this was done. The pillars that supported the roof being of wood (probably of cedar), and the beams on the under side of the roof being of the same material, nothing was so easy as to set fire to them. The fall of the roofs, which were probably composed, as at the present day, of five or six feet of earth, required to keep out the heat as well as the wet, would alone suffice to bury the building up to the height of the sculptures. The gradual crumbling of the thick walls, consequent on their unprotected exposure to tlie atmosphere, would add three or four feet to this : so that it is hardly too much to suppose that grass might be growing over the buried palaces of Nineveh before two or three years had elapsed from the time of their destruction. — Fergusson: Hatid-Book of Arc/iitcttiire, vol. i. p. 178.]

Assyrian Architecture.


reliefs are, as a rule, limited to a small number ; for free sup- ports have been nowhere discovered in the large apartments. The base of the columns consists of a circular torus, sometimes resting on the back of the figure of an advancing lion. The capitals are not confined to the volute form ; but they sometimes vary this with the more slender calyx form, covered with upright leaves. Fig. 31 gives us some examples of Assyrian treatment of ornament, which is seen to be very marked in style. It con- tains, at a, a representation in relief of a tent-like building, the light tent-roof of which is supported on slender and probably wooden posts with volute capitals.

Fig. 32. Fortress, from an Assyrian Relief.

That the arch was already known to the Assyrians is proved both by representations in the reliefs and by remains actually discovered. But this form of construction was only made use of in subordinate apartments of small extent, and seems never to have been employed for covering over larger spaces. Brick arches of six feet span have been discovered in the drains beneath the palaces of Nimrud, and these not merely executed in the semicircular, but in the pointed style. In order to form these vaults, the separate stones are accurately cut in a wedge-


History of Art.

like form. In the reliefs we often meet with arched portals, especially in buildings designed for fortification (Fig. 32). Through the discoveries of the French consul, M. Place, these bass-reliefs have recently been verified by the monuments them- selves ; for he found at Khorsabad several of the city gates, con- sisting of round-arched entrances from twelve to fifteen feet wide. The archivolt is ornamented, tapestry-like, with blue glazed tiles and yellow reliefs, and rests on piers from which project figures of gigantic winged bulls with human heads. ^ We possess no representation of the temple-buildings of the

-I nr-ln 0.1-1 n /-inr

Fig. 33. Representation of an Assyrian Temple.

Assyrians ; although small chapel-like shrines, with a porch sup- ported by columns, appear repeatedly on the reliefs. If we

[1 " Another most important discovery of M. Place is that of the gates of the city. These were always apparently constructed in pairs, — one devoted to foot-passengers : the other to wheeled carriages, as shown by the marks of wheels worn into the pavement in the one case, while it is perfectly smooth in the other. Those appropriated to carriages had plain jambs rising perpendicularly twelve or fifteen feet. These supported a semicircular arch adorned on its face with an archivolt of great beauty, formed of blue enamelled bricks, with a pattern of figures and stars of a warm yellow color relieved upon it. The gateways for foot-pas- sengers were nearly of the same dimensions, about twelve or fifteen feet broad ; but they were ornamented by winged bulls with human heads, between which stood giants strangling lions. In this case the arch sprang directly from the backs of the bulls, and was ornamented by an archivolt similar to that over the carriage-entrances.

"Other arches h.ive been found in these Assyrian excavations, but none of such extent as these, and none which show so well how completely the Assyrians in the time of Sargon under- stood, not only the construction of the arch, but also its use as a decorative architectural feature.'" — Fergusson, Hand-Book of Architecture, vol. i. p. 173.]

Art of Central Asia. — Babylon and Nineveh. 59

may venture to refer another representation (Fig. 33) to an Assyrian locality, temples with gabled roofs were also known to the Assyrians, with facades ornamented with curious hori- zontally divided pilasters decorated with suspended shields. The pediment is covered over with a tapestry-like pattern, thoroughly in the style of Babylonian-Assyrian art. The gable is crowned with an ornament in the form of a lance-head. In front of the temple stand two caldrons on feet, which recall to mind the vessels for purification in the Temple at Jerusalem.

The main group of buildings at present known includes the monuments of Nimrud, where many grand edifices, designated as the north-west, south-west, and central palaces, are to be



Fig. 34. Relief at Kujjundjik.

found close together. Farther up the river stands the Palace of Kujjundjik, and still farther north that of Khorsabad. Respecting the age and origin of these monuments, Major Rawlinson, I. Oppert, Dr. Hincks, and others, have given

6o History of Art.

important information by means of the partial decipherment of the cuneiform inscriptions which cover the walls. That whole ranges of buildings must have been standing before the destruction of Nineveh, which took place in the year 606 B.C., by the united powers of Babylon and Media, is self-evident. The oldest building" is the north-west Palace of Nimrud, the inscriptions on which bear the royal names of Sardanapalus ; not the notorious ruler of that name, but one of an earlier date. The palace was probably erected in the ninth if not in the tenth century B.C. The central palace was founded by Temen- bar, the son of Sardanapalus. In the eighth century a new dynasty began ; and King Salmanasar built the Palace of Khorsabad; his successor Sanherib, that of Kujjundjik; and his son Esarhaddon, the south-west Palace of Nimrud. In this building epoch, comprising about five hundred years, the aim of Assyrian art seems, both in general and in detail, to have remained essentially the same, without betraying a germ of higher advance or of organic development ; and it is only in the style of the plastic decorations that we perceive certain modifications to have taken place in their mode of work, in spite of a strictly circumscribed circle of ideas.

The complete plan of an Assyrian palace has been for the first time set before us by means of the uncovering of Khorsa- bad by M. Place. The vast structure, with its separate rooms, halls, and galleries, about two hundred and ten in number, and grouped around thirty courts, was built upon an artificial ter- race, the cubic contents of which are reckoned at a million and a half of meters. We can now clearly trace the plan of the palace proper, with its harem at once closely connected with it and yet strictly secluded, and with its multitude of out- buildings and offices. Every one of its stately entrances has its gates adorned with colossal bulls, and each of the principal rooms has its walls wainscoted with slabs of stone carved in relief ; whilst others, the sleeping-rooms for example, are deco- rated with wall-painting. Near the palace, upon a four-square

Aj^t of Central Asia. — Assyrian Sculpture. 6i

base, there rose a pyramid in seven diminishing stages, of which only the lower four, each twenty feet in height, remain. Each of these stages was painted in a different color from the rest, the colors being those appropriated to the seven planets, similar to what the ancients tell us of the walls of Ecbatana.^ The summit of the pyramid probably bore an altar, and perhaps served as an observatory for the astrologers. Another building standing by -itself has also been discovered, which may have been either a temple or a hall of audience. Near this huge monument the site of a city has been found, the mighty walls of which were pierced with seven gates, — again the sacred number. The gates are arched with semicircular arches, and decorated with bricks enamelled in bright colors. The inscrip- tions state that Sargon (721-702 B.C.) was the builder both of the city and of the palace.

With regard to the sculpture of these nations,^ rich material lies before us from the different epochs of Assyrian art, espe- cially in the numerous reliefs come to light among the ruins of Nimrud, Khorsabad, and Kujjundjik. Numerous examples of the sculptures of Nimrud and Kujjundjik are in London, in the British Museum ; and those of Khorsabad in Paris, in the Mu- seum of the Louvre. These remains consist, for the most part, of reliefs ; and only with rare exceptions does sculpture seem to have advanced to statuary. Here also, as among the Egyp- tians, the plastic arts are chiefly applied to the delineation of

[1 "It consists of an extensive basement, about six feet in height, on which stands a pyramid of six stories, averaging somewhat less than twenty feet each in height, and every story forty-two feet less in horizontal dimensions than the one below it. They are not placed concentrically one upon the other. Towards the front the platforms are thirty feet in extent (qu. deep), and consequently are twelve feet in the rear. On the side they are equal, twenty- one feet each. On the upper platform now stands the fragment of a tower about thirty feet in height. . . . There probably was also a shrine or image on the third platform. The lower story was black, the color of .Saturn; the next orange, the color of Jupiter; the third red, emblematic of Mars ; the fourth yellow, belonging to the Sun ; the fifth and sixth green and blue respectively, as dedicated to Venus and Mercury ; the upper probably white, that being the color belonging to the Moon, whose place in the Chaldean system would be the upper- most."— Fergusson, Hand-Book of Architecture, vol. i. p. 1S2.]

- Cf. Denkm. der Kunst, plate 6 \.


History of Art.

actual life. In harmony with the purpose of the chambers to be decorated, representations of the life and deeds of the rulers predominate. There is no attempt at the expression of thought or feeling : their only aim is the chronicle-like representation of the simple events of every-day life. We see the king, in the heavy, richly adorned dress of the country (Fig. 35), with long, closely-fitting garments, on his head the royal tiara, slowly mov- ing along, or enthroned on some tastefully ornamented seat, surrounded by a numerous retinue (Fig. 36). Solemn serious- ness and stately dignity characterize all these scenes. Other

Fig. 35. Figures of Assyrian Rulers.

and more animated representations of the chase and war alter- nate with these. On his light chariot the king, accompanied by his charioteer, is hunting, at one time a pair of lions, at another two bulls. Whilst one animal falls bleeding under the horses' hoofs, the other, furious with rage, attacks his pur- suer in the back, who, quickly turning round, aims at him the fatal weapon. In another place we see warlike undertakings (Fig. 37)' — castles besieged and destroyed with mighty batter- ing-rams ; fording of rivers, in which the king and his chariot arc

Art of Central Asia. — Assyrian Sculpture. 63

transported across on a ferry ; and warriors and horses, the for- mer aided by floating bladders, are endeavoring to reach the opposite shore. All these incidents are depicted with great life,

Fig. 36. Bass-Relief. Assyrian Court Officials.

distinctness, and fidelity. We perceive everywhere a clear intelligence aiming at the simple grasping of the reality. The arrangement too, although frequently recurring, — the

Fig. 37. Relief from Ninirud.

same composition being always repeated for the same subject, — often exhibits surprising traits of natural life and keen ob- servation. With this strong feeling for reality we find com-


History of Art.

bined a distinct perfection of form. The relief style appears already freely and independently developed, exhibiting just gradations ; the forms are firmly and distinctly designed ; the figures stout, and inclined to Oriental obesity ; the countenance has the characteristic traits of the Semitic race, — the strongly curved nose, the large eye with its expressive arched brow, voluptuous lips, and full chin, generally, in the men, enveloped in a long beard, which, like the hair, expresses the natural curl by uniform rows of conventionally arranged ringlets (Fig. 38). In the lions and bulls the hair of the mane and the tuft of the

tail are executed in a similar conventional manner ; while in all other things the ani- mals are conceived with unusual life and naturalness, and exhibit a clear under- standing of form. The naturalness of these works, the uniform execution, the intelli- gent, clear mind of which they give evi- dence, call forth a lively interest, both for the manner in which they extricated them- selves from the ban of conventional laws, and in the ingenuousness with which they accommodated themselves to them. Just as clearly are symbolic conventional influences seen to prevail in certain figures which pertain to the mythological ideas of the Assyrians. These appear principally to be priestly figures, to which, by the addition of a mighty pair of wings, and sometimes of an eagle's head instead of the human one, a character of mysterious and imposing dignity is given. Still more solemn and significant is the effect of the colossal figures, twelve feet high, which guard the gates, where, on the contrary, we find a bearded human head placed upon an animal's body, with bull's feet, a bull's body, and mighty wings (Fig. 39). These strange creations, which stand out in strong relief on both sides of the portals, with the front part of their bodies wholly separate from the surface of the wall, prove at the same

Fig. 38. Assyrian Head.

Art of Central Asia. — Assyrian Sculpture. 65

time how thoroughly an intelligent reflection goes hand in hand with this fantastic symbolism. Each of these wonderful ani- mals has, for instance, five feet, — that is, three fore-legs, — so that, whether seen from the side or in front, no leg may be missed. We may impute it to considerations of a similar kind, that, in hunting or in battle scenes (cf. Fig. 37), the string of the bow is not brought across the face of the archer, as truth to nature would require, but behind it. Most of the reliefs are executed in delicate white alabaster, some of them in a brilliant yellow limestone ; and, as is to be seen from many traces left, they were painted in strong colors.

Fig. 39. Portal at Khorsabad.

No essential progress is to be remarked in the works of dif- ferent epochs. As the sphere of representation was established from the beginning, and ever continued unchanged in the national mind, so is it also with the character of their treatment of form. Greater power and rudeness, especially to be seen in the strong marking of the muscles, is all that distinguishes the earlier works — those, for instance, of the north-west palace at Nimrud — from the softer, smoother, but also weaker produc- tions of a later period. Still, in the later reliefs at Kujjund- jik, we perceive an attempt to enrich the simple sphere of representations by variety of life and greater animation in the delineation. In this direction, certainly, we cannot deny that a merely superficial progress may be observed in the plastic art

66 Histoij of Art.

of Assyria, even though ultimately, owing to the one-sided real- istic character of their perceptive powers, it never rose beyond a neat genre style. Elevation into the sphere of the ideal was, and continued to be, denied to this art, because its narrow realism was forever employed to serve the material uses of despotism.


The political destinies as well as the intellectual life, and consequently the art-creations, of all the races of Central Asia, as we have before observed, constantly intermingle with each other. Thus in the Medes and Persians we become acquainted with the races, who, first subjugated by the Assyrians, rose subsequently to be the inheritors of the power and mental tendencies of their former rulers. It was the Medes, settled in the mountain-valleys and fruitful plains of the declivities south of the Caspian Sea, who broke the power of the As- syrians, until they were themselves subdued by the victorious Persians. Both races belonged to the Aryan stock, the so- called Zend people. Their religion, as wc gather it from Zoroaster's (Zerduscht) doctrines, was based upon a dualism of an essentially moral character. The kingdom of light or of Ormudz — that of goodness, purity, and holiness — is placed in opposition to the kingdom of Ahriman, that of darkness or of evil. The spirit of light is symbolically worshipped in the sacred fire ; but he is actually glorified in the striving of man after the pure and the noble. These views, which are combined with a simple contemplation of nature, reveal to us the practical bent and morally enlightened character of the national mind. Here, as among the Assyrians and Babylonians, we find a clear system, in which the moral powers that rule our being are sharply and clearly defined, and man is placed with free con- sciousness between the conflicting powers of good and evil. Corresponding with this disposition of the mind, v/e find the

Art of Central Asia. — Persia and Media. 67

fashion of their artistic works. The inclination to energetic action leads here also to preponderating emphasis being given to worldly power and dominion, though certainly not without reference to the divine, both by symbol and inscription. Among the monuments exclusively dedicated to religious aims, the simple stone fire-altars on the mountain-summits seem most worthy of mention.

As regards time, the Medes take precedence ; but, as regards the number of existing monuments, the Persians have the superiority; and this all the more, since up to this time no remains of Median art have been discovered. We must en- deavor to fill up the gap as far as we can by means of the records of the ancients. Thus we learn that the Median palace at Ecbatana rose terrace-like in seven stories, and that the surrounding walls were gorgeous with various colors, and even with gold and silver. Many representations on the reliefs of Nimrud and Khorsabad afford us an idea of this building ; and the terrace-like arrangement of structure betrays striking affinity with that discovered in Babylon and Nineveh. The traces of this ancient Ecbatana, which must not be confounded with one of a later date, the present Ramadan, are considered to be proved to be Takt-i-Suleiman, westward from the southern shores of the Caspian Sea.

Under the great Cyrus (559-529 B.C.) the Persians' obtained ascendency over the effeminate Medes, extended their dominion with wonderful rapidity, and, spreading their conquering hosts over the whole of Central and Western Asia, entered Egypt victoriously under Cambyses, and established one of the most powerful empires of the world, — an empire destined, neverthe- less, to be shattered by Grecian power, and to succumb com- pletely to the bold mind of Alexander the Great (330 B.C.). The period of building activity of the Persians, important

1 Cf. Denkm. d. Kunst, plate 7. Ker Porter, Travels in Georgia, Persia, &c. London. Coste et Flandin, Voyage en Perse, &c. Paris, 5 vols. Texier, Description de I'Aimenie, de la Perse, &c. Paris, 1852. Cf. also Brugsch, Reise durch Persien, 2 vols. 8vo.

68 History of Art.

remains of which have come down to us, embraces about two centuries, and may be considered, both as regards time and character, as the last echo of Central Asiatic art in the lands of Mesopotamia.

The residences of the "great king," as the Greeks called the Persian rulers, were at Babylon, which was incorporated v/ith the mighty empire at Susa, the Shush of the present day, where important heaps of ruins are still waiting for research, at Ecbatana, the before-mentioned Hamadan of the present day, and at Pasargada, in the neighborhood of Murghab. Polybius tells us of the palace at Ecbatana, that the columns and beams were made of cedar and cypress wood, and were covered, like the exterior of the roof, with gold and silver plates. In this we may perceive the distinctive features of all the architecture of Central Asia, such as might have been expected in the lands of the Euphrates. More important still are the monuments that have been preserved in various principal parts of the true Persian mother-country, in the regions which lie between the great salt deserts of the interior, and the steep, inhospitable shore of the Persian Gulf, and in the rich sloping and moun- tainous terrace-land, with the fertile valleys of Shiras, Murghab, and Merdascht.

Among the oldest and the most important of the Persian monuments we may number the remains of the ancient royal residence at Pasargada, in the neighborhood of the present Murghab. Foremost of all, attention is drawn to the remark- able building, which, according to the ancients, was known as the Tomb of Cyrus. Popular tradition calls it the grave of the mother of Solomon (Meschhed-i-Mader-i-Suleiman, P'ig. 40). We have here an example of the way in which the Persians, when they suddenly passed from their simple patriarchal mountain-life to the dominion of a great empire in a high state of civilization, endeavored to combine into a whole in their monumental creations the various forms elsewhere in use. The Tomb of Cyrus, built of mighty blocks of sparkling white and

Art of Central Asia. — Tomb of Cyrus.


highly polished marble, rises on seven terrace-like steps as a small gable-roofed house, the form of which, as well as the man- agement of the materia], might be traced to the already highly developed art of Greek Asia Minor. Even the form of the few

Fig. 40. Tomb of Cyrus.

details points to such an influence, especially that of the cornice round the roof, as well as of the pillars surrounding the build- ing, and now, for the most part, destroyed. The pyramid in steps, on the other hand, is evidently a j typical form familiar to Central Asia, and frequently noticed by us in the lands watered by the Euphrates. The magnificent gold decorations and the rich tapestries which adorned the in- terior have vanished, like the remains of the great conqueror, who found here his last resting-place after a life full of action. But his portrait is preserved, singularly enough, upon one of the piers of the palace, which lies in ruins near, and is thus designated by a contempo- raneous cuneiform inscription, " I am Cyrus, the king, the Achaemenide." A head-dress, Egyptian fashion, and two mighty pairs of wings, seem to be a characteristic symbol of the ruler (Fig. 41).

Fig. 41. Relief of Cyrus.


History of Art.

To the later period of the empire's prosperity, under Darius and Xerxes, until 467 B.C., we may assign the magnificent remains which mark the royal residence, called by the Greeks Persepolis (Fig. 42), which lie somewhat southward towards Shiras, in the Plain of Merdascht. According to ancient records and the plan of the monuments, the old royal palace, into which Alexander with his own hand hurled the firebrand, seems to have been the residence of the Persian sovereigns only at certain periods. The main building is called by the people Tchihilminar, i.e. the forty columns, or Takht-i-Dj ems-hid (the throne of Dj ems-hid). On the mountain-ridge, which com-


Ruins of the Palace of Persepolis.

mands the vast plain, rises a magnificent structure of terraces, the plateau of which is gained by means of a double marble staircase of more than a hundred gently-ascending steps. Splendid processions, which cover the sides of the steps in long series of reliefs, point to the former intention of the mighty structure. Arrived at the platform, which is also floored with slabs of marble, the ruins of a magnificent double portal are reached, with four stone piers, and as many slender marble columns, fifty feet in height, between them. On the front sur- face of the piers we again find the colossal winged bulls of

Art of Ceiiiral Asia. — Pcrsepolis. 71

Assyrian art. A second double staircase leads to the upper terrace, which, almost square, and of great extent, is strewn over with ruined shafts of columns, shattered capitals, and a confused mass of rubbish. On the front part of the terrace, near the principal staircase, rise thirty-six broken marble columns, dis- posed in a square, surrounded on three sides with porticos of twelve columns in two rows. This whole vast structure seems to have served as a splendid porch to the principal palace.^ Behind it rise the remains of the former palace on higher ter- races, with similar steps. Ruins of the vast apartments, with countless marble columns and noble entrances, and vestiges of a rich system of fountains, cover the entire height. The names of Darius and Xerxes, which are to be found in the numerous cuneiform inscriptions of the ruins, mark the epoch of their origin.

The style of these splendid buildings plainly shows a mixture of many foreign elements into a new and peculiar whole. The terrace-like, pyramidal design is of Babylonic-Assyrian origin, transformed, however, here into a more cheerful effect, and aimins: at breadth and freedom. The introduction of marble columns may be assigned to Greek influence. The form of the columns with their high bases (Fig. 43, b and c), the slender, elegantly formed shafts with their deep flutings, point to Ionic- Greek models. The capitals alone show, it seems, a design pe- culiar to Persia. They are cither formed of two fore-parts of bulls or unicorns (Fig. 43, a and d), or they consist of an upright and an inverted cup (Fig. 43, c), the former decorated with strings of beads, the latter with hanging petals, and the whole crowned with double volutes, placed perpendicularly instead of horizontally, — an arrangement which shows a fantastic resem- blance to Ionic forms, and thus early foreshadows the elements of a later decorative period. Other forms, again, pointing to

[1 See Fergusson, Hand-Book of Architecture, vol. i. pp. 195-198. He calls this building "the great Hall of Xerxes, — the Chehil Minar, — the most splendid building of which any remains exist in this part of the world." He gives with his account a number of illustrations.]


History of Art.

Egyptian influences, are to be found in the crowning of the portals (Fig. 43, c), the principal of which exhibits the high Egyptian corona, with three rows of upright leaves covered with a heavy slab. No ruins are to be discovered of the walls themselves ; a proof that the material of which these were built, like that of the Assyrian buildings, consisted of unburnt bricks. Equally few vestiges are to be found of the ceiling and upper stories. There is, therefore, no doubt, that here, as in the palaces of Nineveh, wood was used for the ceilings, richly

Fig. 43. Details of Persian Architecture.

ornamented, probably, with shining metal. The marble-col- umned halls, moreover, can only have supported a wooden ceiling, as the columns, sixty feet in height, have a diameter of scarcely four feet, and an intervening space of thirty feet. Even the form of the capitals leads us to infer a slighter con- struction of the upper building.

We gain further information regarding Persian architecture from the great facades of stone which also mark the ancient royal tombs in the neighborhood of Merdascht. While the funeral vaults lie inaccessible in the interior, the outer surface

Art of Central Asia. — Royal Persian Tombs. 73

of the steep rock is decorated with fagades covered with in- scriptions in relief ; and in the centre of these fagades is a seeming door, with the cliaracteristic liigh corona, while the half-pillars of their lower story exhibit capitals of unicorns, as at Tchilminar. Double beam-ends project between the animals, supporting an entablature, which, with its three members and its rows of strongly dentated ornament, recalls to mind the

Fig. 44. Rock-Fagade of Royal Tombs in Persia.

Ionic-Greek style ^ (Fig. 44). Above this lower building is represented a fantastic throne-like structure, on which stands the figure of the king in relief, sacrificing before a fire-altar.^

No explorations have as yet been made of the other splendid residences of the Persian kings : only the English travellers Loftus and Williams have uncovered the remains of the great

[1 Consult Viollet-le-Duc : Entretiens sur rArchitecture, vol. i. pp. 36-43. Paris, 1863. English translation by H. Van Brunt, Boston.]

[2 As Liibke gives no cut showing the whole of one of these rock-cut fagades, the reader who wishes to understand his description would do well to consult Fergusson's Hand-Book of Architecture, vol. i. p. 194, where he will find an excellent cut of the Tomb of Darius at Naksh-i-Rustum. The lower portion of the fagade shown in Liibke's cut (Fig. 44) is correctly represented by the sculptor as it would be in nature ; but perspective is intentionally violated in the rectangular space above, which is intended to show the terrace with which the palace was actually roofed, but which is represented as standing on end. Upon this terrace is what Liibke calls " a throne-like structure," — a sort of platform with its bull-headed corner-posts, and still further supported by a double row of captives. Upon this stands the fire-altar, with the sun above it, and the king, bow in hand, lifting a hand in adoration. Above him hovers the Feroher.]


History of Art.

colonnade of a palace at Susa, the modern Shush, which is not unlike the one at Persepolis. The columns which they found

there (Fig. 45) answer in their form to those of Persepolis, which show the rich- est, although at the same time the most baroque, development of the Persian col- umn ; since above the calyx-shaped por- tion the double volutes are placed, and on these again rest the pairs of bulls which were intended to support the architrave.'

The Persian buildings, like those of Assyria, are rich in sculpture, which in its treatment also reflects the style of Nineveh in its later, weaker manner ; in this respect, therefore, marking the con- clusion — the last vibration, as it were — of the ancient art of Central Asia. On the other hand, the subject^ of the representations is new and truly Persian, and gives a good illustration of how the people, when they attempted to express their national ideas in sculpture, were obliged to make use of the forms of art already elsewhere developed. Although the numerous sculptures in relief which cover the sides of the steps of the pal- ace of Persepolis (Fig. 46) also aim at the glorification of the kingly dignity, they do not, like the Assyrian, give a chronicle-

[1 William Kennett Loftus, while under the command of Sir William Fenwick Williams, made explorations in 1849-52, and afterward at the head of a separate expedition. The results of both these explorations were published under the title Travels and Researches in Chaldaea and Susiana, with an Account of Excavations at Wurka, the " Erech " of Nimrod, and Shush, " Shushan the palace" of Esther, in 1S49-52. By William Kennett Loftus, F.G.S., London. James Nisbet and Co., 1857. Illustrations and Maps. The book is dedi- cated to Sir W. F. Williams ; but he had no share in its authorship.]

['- Cf. Denkmaler der Kunst, plate 8.]

Fig. 45. Column from Susa.

Sculpture at Persepolis. — Bass-Reliefs.


like representation of definite historical events, but depict in a general manner the splendor of the royal household, — the bands of armed body-guards, the richly-dressed retinue, the solemn trains of deputies from subject races, bringing the product of their land as tribute, — bulls, rams, horses, and camels, as well as costly vessels and implements. On one gate-pier the king is represented in a richly-falling Median garment, with short curled hair, and long flowing beard, with the Median cap and long sceptre : behind him advance ser- vants with sunshades, and fans of peacocks' feathers ; and

Fig. 46. Relief from Persepolis.

over him hovers the fantastic form of his guardian spirit, the Feroher. Another time we see the king in solemn repose, sitting on his throne with the sceptre in his hand, and behind him one of his retinue (Fig. 47). The power of the king is also glorified in a significant and symbolic manner, when, with true Oriental calmness, he seizes by the horn the fantastic, unicorn-like winged monster, . which attacks him with rapid movement and furious gesture, and which he kills with a well- aimed thrust of his sword ; or when a mighty lion, probably the symbol of kingly strength, furiously rends asunder the


History of Art.

rearing unicorn. Besides the fabulous figure of the unicorn, which strangely forms the corner ornaments in the altar-like structures of the facades of the rock-tombs, we also meet, as we have seen on the gate-piers, with gigantic winged bulls with human heads, such as the old palaces of Assyria exhibit. In all these instances we perceive the inclination to a pre-emi- nently ideal conception, which, while it substitutes a more calm, ceremonious, and solemn dignity in the place of the lively movement and energetic action shown by the Assyrian

Fig. 47. Relief from Persepolis.

sculptures, nevertheless frequently exhibits within its limita- tions an attractive richness of ideas, and pleasing variety in the representation of the same fundamental form. This is effected also by a style in many respects freer ; though, on the other hand, it is materially inferior to the earlier Assyrian works in freshness of expression, in distinctness of character, and in the more meaning energy with which the forms are handled. The representations of animals alone, especially the battle-scenes, unencumbered as they are with the solemn ceremonial of the

Persian Sculpture. — Relief at BagJiistan. 'jj

court, breathe a life full of expression and action, and afford a remarkable contrast to the quiet bearing of the human figures. Only one instance of historical representations is known up to this time in Persian sculpture ; namely, the reliefs on a high, steep, rocky wall at Bisutun, the Baghistan of the present day, south-west of Hamadan, in which the victory of Darius over a number of rebels is represented in large reliefs. The colossal figure of the king, accompanied by two armed body-guards, has his foot placed on an enemy writhing on the ground, and seems looking angrily at a troop of nine men marching forwards in a line, who, wearing a different attire, and fastened together by a rope round their necks, with their hands bound behind them, are awaiting their sentence. Above, amid long cunei- form inscriptions, hovers the Feroher of the king.

Persian art, therefore, though not without elements peculiar to itself, combines the results of the art-efforts of Central Asia into a splendid whole, and presents, more strikingly than any other within the circle of antique life, an early instance of de- liberate eclecticism. Nevertheless, although here, as we have seen, a high point of civilization had been reached by these people, and the elements of an independent national life were not wanting, yet they had no longer that energy that was needed to blend vigorously and radically all that they had borrowed from others into a truly homogeneous whole.




The narrow range of coast by which the Asiatic continent opens westward to the Mediterranean was inhabited, as early as two thousand years before Christ, by the Phoenicians,^ a people of Semitic origin, who, in their early voyages along the shores of this inland sea, founded colonies and emporiums of trade in Greece and in the adjacent isles, in Sicily, and on the coast of Africa and Spain ; and advanced, indeed, beyond the limits of this circle, — limits too narrow for their spirit of enter- prise, — into the Atlantic Ocean as far as the shores of Britain. It was no yearning for conquest and political organization that urged these adventurous spirits to such bold voyages : it was only a desire for trade and gain. This made the Phoenicians the dis- seminators of the civilization of Western Asia. Their famous cities, Tyre and Sidon, situated midway between the East and the West, were the central points of the commerce of the world, the markets for the rich products of the civilization of the entire Asiatic continent.

Phoenician civilization was essentially mercantile and indus- trial. We find the men of Sidon early in possession of the

1 F. C. Movers, Das Phonizische Alterthum. Berlin, 1849. E. Gerhard, Ueber die Kunst der Phonizier, in the Papers of the Academy oi Science. Berlin, 1846. Also the splendid work lately completed by E. Renan upon the Phoenician remains, — Mission en Phenicie. Text and illustrations. Paris. Also De -Saulcy's work, Voyage autour de la Mer Morte. Paris, 1853. I. Kenrick, Phcenicia. London, 1855. An excellent abstract of the explorations and discoveries in Syria and Phoenicia, by De Vogiie and Renan, will be found in Bsdeker's Guide to Palestine and Syria. Boston : James R. Osgood & Co. For the illustrations, however, the readers must refer to the original works, as Baideker does not reproduce them. 78

The Phcenicians : their Skill in the Arts. 79

secrets of purple dye and the manufacture of glass, and eagerly engaged in the casting of metals, as well as in the ingenious


working of gold and silver. Many things, especially the arts of weaving and embroidery, they learned from the Babylonians ; from whom they also borrowed their weights and measures, and communicated them to the nations of the West. All the artistic articles of luxury mentioned in Homer are ascribed, as a rule, to "the men of Sidon." On the other hand, higher artistic works, peculiar to themselves, seem to have been unknown to this truly commercial people. It is true, they were famous for their skill in architecture ; and even the magnificent buildings of the neighboring Hebrews were executed by Phoenician archi- tects : still they seem to have had no independent and highly- developed style of their own whatever, since the wooden and brazen columns, ceilings panelled with cedar-wood, and the covering of the walls with gold, of which we read,' may be traced entirely to Babylonish influence. The few works which can with proof or with probability be assigned to Phoenician origin, consist, for the most part, of mighty embankments, or dikes, such as those on the Island of Arvad (Aradus),^ opposite the Syrian coast, and on some parts of the African coast. But, wherever temple-remains are still standing, — as in the Island of Malta, the so-called Giganteia, and in the neighboring Island of Gozo, and, in Cyprus, the remains of the ancient temple to Venus, — we find an inartistic primitive rudeness of design, which could only be made to suit the Oriental taste by the application of rich metal ornaments.

[1 In the descriptions of Solomon's Temple and of the House of the Forest of Lebanon, I Kings v., vi., vii.; 2 Chron. iii., iv., ix. See also Josephus ; and Fergusson, Hand-Book of Architecture, vol. i.]

[2 " The most extensive remains of the town-walls are on the west side of the island, where they are still twenty-eight to thirty-eight feet in height, and constructed in a grand Cyclopean style." — B.«deker's Palestine and Syria, p. 543.]

[3 In Murray's Hand-Book for Egypt, pp. xv-xviii, the reader will find a good account of the ruins near Casal Crendi, in Malta. The ruins in the neighboring Island of Gozzo (Gozo), called Torre dei Giganti (the Giant's Tower), are of similar construction to those at Casal Crendi, though on a grander scale. They consist of blocks of stone laid up without mortar.]


History of Art.

Somewhat fuller information on the subject of Phoenician antiquity has been obtained by the late researches of E. Renan ; but, when we compare the remains which he describes with those left us by the other peoples of antiquity, the impression of extreme clumsiness which we receive from the examination of the Phoenician monuments cannot be got rid of. Neverthe- less, what we find established by these researches, what, indeed.

-T >^>rr

Fig. 48. Tomb at Aintitli (restored). From ken.in.

might have been predicted from the geographical position of the Phoenician country, — that, alongside of the Mesopotamian influence, a strong Egyptian influence made itself felt, — is of importance in the history of culture. The most important ruins in Phoenicia are those at Amrith, the old Marathus. Together with less important temple-cellas, several tombs are especially worthy of notice, in which are found the two forms

Phoenician Ruins. — To77ib at Amrilh. 8i

common to the whole ancient world, — the rock-hewn sepulchre and the tumulus, — but which show in their construction a char- acter peculiar to themselves. In several of these monuments the Egyptian influence is betrayed in the pyramid-form, al- though, it must be confessed, in a manner more curious than structural. Thus, in one instance, a somewhat high cylinder is placed upon a cubical substructure which itself rests upon a base ; and upon this cylinder stands a five-sided pyramid, servino- as a terminal. The whole structure may have measured some- thing like thirty feet in height. Another of these monuments may be described as a cubical building placed upon a platform of two steps, and covered with a projecting slab with a hollow moulding underneath. This slab serves as a base for another cubical block, which is topped by a rather steep, four-sided pyramid. In these tombs the grave proper is, as a rule, hewn out of the rock, under the surface of the ground, and consists of a descending passage with large rooms, to which we are con- ducted by steps cut in the rock. The opening is closed with huge slabs of stone. The Egyptian influence in these works is unmistakable ; and in the more important of them that character is betrayed which we recognize as peculiarly Phoenician, in the way of building with cylinders placed one above the other, and lessening as they ascend, and with a dome-shaped top (Fig. 48). The four rude half-figures of lions on the lower part of this building belong to a primitive period of art ; while the dentated frieze, and the zig-zag or step-formed battlement above it, are elements which meet us everywhere in the monuments of Middle and Western Asia. In other examples the tombs present the design of a fa9ade cut on the rock. These resemble small chapel-like buildings, crowned with a gable, which rests upon small columns, and is ornamented with reliefs. Two ex- amples of this sort are to be found at Maschnaka, where the columns have a primitive voluted capital. On a facade at Dschebeil (Jebeil), the old Byblos, on the contrary, the columns are wanting ; but the gable, which is somewhat steeper than in the other examples, has for ornament a five-leaved rose.


History of Art.

There still remain to speak of certain temple-cellas at Amrith, which, however, are equally insignificant in their dimensions and in artistic merit. Like the tombs, they consist of several large blocks, or are entirely cut out of a single stone. The example still known as El Maabed (the temple) consists of three large blocks, the whole resting upon a substructure about six- teen feet high. The building is surrounded by a court, formerly a pond, which also is excavated from the rock. The front of the cella is open ; and it is probable that there were originally two bronze columns as supports to the projecting roof-slab. The Egyptian cornice crowns the top. Still more noticeable are the Egyptian details to be seen in two of these cellas standing opposite one another, both having the Egyptian cornice, above which still there is a frieze of asps (Fig. 49).

1* -"'^^

Fig. 49. Temple-Cella at Aiiiritli. From Reiian.

More rude and indeed truly repulsive are the few remains to be found of works of sculpture, — idols and other images. The records of the ancients respecting the image of the god Moloch, which had either the form of a bull or of a bull-headed man,

Phoeiiiciaii Sarcophagi. — Hebrew Art. 83

prove, that, in the personification of the ideas of Deity by means of the plastic arts, the Phoenicians held conceptions similar to those of the Egyptians and the races of Central Asia. The colossal sarcophagi also, now in Paris, at the Louvre, show that the Phoenicians were always dependent upon the art of the surrounding nations. The form of these objects is throughout Egyptian and mummy-like; and in the one — most probably the oldest — which belonged to King Esmunazar of Sidon, and which was found at Sidon, the modern Sayda,' the features are thoroughly Egyptian in character, only barbarized, flattened, and unnaturally broad. The other remains discovered at Sidon, Byblos, and Tortosa, retain the Egyptian form, but give a Greek stamp to the features. On a Phoenician monumental column in the same collection (Musee Napoleon III.) there is a sleeping sphinx with the pshent, the Egyptian royal crown ; on another, two-winged lion-like animals with birds' heads are represented stretching out each a claw towards a vase placed between them, — a motive which recalls to mind the monuments of Nineveh.

Still less is to be said of the art of the Hebrews. Entirely dependent on the Phoenicians, as we have seen, in architecture, they were withheld from the representation of the Deity in art by their monotheistic religion and by the strict law of Moses. On the other hand, we know that the gold plates which covered the interior of Solomon's temple were richly adorned with repre- sentations of flowers and palm-trees, and also with those of cherubim. Moreover, cherubim, carved in cedar-wood and overlaid with gold, shut out the Holy of holies from the rest of the temple. Even in the forms of these cherubs, which are represented in the Holy Scriptures as human bodies with four wings, two of which covered the body, we perceive undoubtedly Persian ideas, and are involuntarily reminded of the relief of Cyrus (Fig. 41).'-

[1 Baedeker: Palestine and Syria, pp. 434, 435.]

[2 Except for the conclusion which Liibke draws, it might not be worth while to correct his statement as to the form given to the cherubim. Neither in the description of the taber-


History of Art.

The internal arrangement of the Temple of Jerusalem, which has given occasion to much learned dispute, may be left to archaeological discussion. As regards its artistic form, we can- not presume to have arrived at distinct ideas respecting its construction, or the impression it produced. The division into fore-courts, the Holy Place, and the Holy of holies, awakens, indeed, a general reminiscence of Egyptian temples ; but neither their extent, nor the multiplicity of their rooms, nor the re- peated use of the colonnade, is to be traced in the description of the Temple of Solomon. The two famous brazen pillars of Jachin and Boaz, with which the skilful worker Hiram of Tyre adorned the porch, might furnish points by which to judge of the style, if their description in the books of the Old Testament were not wrapped in such obscurity, that it is hopleless to attempt

to compare it with any known pillar-form of Oriental antiquity. They possess the greatest affinity, perhaps, with the pillars of Persepolis ; while the proportions of shaft and capital accord more with those of Egyptian architecture. That the placing of such pillars at the temple-porch was usual among the Phoenicians is proved by Fig 50. Coin from the Temple somc CypHan coius (F'ig. 50) representing

of Vemis(Astarte) at Paphos.

the famous Temple of Venus (Astarte) at Paphos. We there see on each side of the porch an isolated

nacle (in Exod. xxv., xxxvii.), nor in that of the temple in Kings and Chronicles (1 Kings vi. 23-28, 2 Chron. iii. 10-13), '^ ^^ stated that the cherubim had four wings, or that they had human bodies. The cherubim of the temple were probably copied from those of the tabernacle ; and in the description of those in the temple, though it is not precisely stated that they had but two wings, yet the wording does not admit of any other interpretation. In neither case, moreover, were the cherubim made of cedar-wood. Those of the tabernacle were made of beaten gold; those of the temple, of olive-wood overlaid with gold. The cherubim did not shut out the Holy of holies from the rest of the temple: it was shut out by a "veil of blue and purple and crimson, and fine linen, and wrought cherubims thereon." 'Jhe cherubim were within the oracle, or Holy of holies, where they were placed, one on either side of the ark, which they covered with their wings. In describing them, Dr. Liibkc had doubtless in his mind the account of the mystical creatures in Ezek. i. 6, 8, 11. These may have been suggested to the prophet by something he saw during his exile in Babylonia.]

Hebrew ArcJiitecture. — Sepulchres mid Tombs. 85

pillar, suggesting a resemblance to the pillars at the Temple of Jerusalem. Remains of the vast substructures with which Solomon enlarged the Mountain of Moriah, in order to secure sufficient foundation for the temple, are to be recognized in the immense stone-work in the south-eastern corner. By some, in- deed, the antiquity of this substructure, with its blocks of stone twenty -eight feet in length, is de- nied, and the erec- tion of these parts is ascribed to the later





Lastly, we may mention the numer- ous tombs which are to be found in the neighborhood of Je- rusalem. Yet these, also, only partly be- long to the old Jew- ish period. These are rock-hewn sepul- chres, with numerous hollows for the re- ception of bodies, —

rocky grottos similar Fig. 51. Tomb of Absalom, at Jerusalem.

to that in which, according to the Gospels, the body of Christ was laid. Such tombs have no artistic character of any kind, except that we find the facades, in some cases, crowned with the Egyptian corona. Wherever the facades exhibit richer ornament, as on the so-called royal tombs, the Tomb of Jacob, and those of the judges, it is always the higher


86 Histojy of Art.

forms of Greek art to which recourse is had. The same forms appear '^n the isolated tombs, — those, for instance, of Zacharias and of Absalom, — which stand out from the rock as detached buildings, decorated with Ionic pillars (Fig. 51). A pyramidal or conical structure rises above the Egyptian corona to crown the whole building. Here, therefore, we find the Oriental tumulus combined with the decorative elements of classic architecture ; a proof that we have to do with works of a late period of Hellenistic art, and that these names — of Jacob, Absalom, and the rest, reaching back to a far antiquity — are not entitled to any credibility. Only in a few finely and clearly cut ornaments, in imitation of the vegetable forms peculiar to Palestine, does a national element appear to be intermingled. F"rom what has been said, it becomes sufficiently evident that the Jews, having no art-ideas of their own, borrowed the archi- tectural forms which they employed on an eclectic principle from the nations dwelling around them.


Jutting out towards the West from the mighty continent of Asia is a peninsula-like territory, which, enclosed by the Black Sea, the vEgean, and the Mediterranean, stretches out with its richly-indented coast towards European Greece. This favora- ble coast, with its many harbors, and bordered by numerous fruitful islands, is as much in harmony with the West as the inland, divided by intersecting mountain-chains ; and, with its luxuriant lowlands and many smaller valleys, is in contrast to the cultivated territories of the East, with their larger and more compact masses. The interior alone is a high, bare, unfruitful mountain plateau, from which the coast-lands descend in wooded slopes and meadow-land. The delightful climate softened by the sea and the mountains, the hospitable coast, with its many

Asia Minor : its Tribes. 87

inlets, early held forth strong allurements to colonization ; so that, far back in time, Semitic, Aryan, Thracian, and Greek tribes had settled along the coast and on the islands, and had early reached a certain stage of civilization. The diversified topography of the interior was favorable to the growth of a large number of small tribes, which, although allied in origin, habits, language, and religion, yet developed in different ways. Thus we find even in Homer an infinite number of races crowded together on a territory in no wise extensive : we find the Ali- zonians with 'their wealth of silver, the Chalybians skilled in the preparation of ores, the combat-loving Mysians, the Darda- nians and Trojans, the horse-breaking Maonians, the Lycians. Phrygians, and others.

Among these numerous races, a few chief tribes soon be- came prominent, and led the van in the development of civ- ilization. We must for a time leave unnoticed the colonies of Greeks settled on the western coasts, in order that we may con- sider them later with their European brethren. Of the indige- nous races of Asia Minor, we must especially notice the Phrygians, Lydians, and Lycians. The first inhabited the cen- tral woody highlands of the country, bounded on the west by the Lydians, who were settled in the territory watered by the winding Meander : the Lycians had established themselves on the southern coast. Among these races the Lydians had risen to increasing power, and to more signal importance, since the reign of their king, Gyges (about 700 B.C.), who carried on victorious contests with the neighboring states. Through his successors, Ardys, Sadyattes, and Alyattes, they gained domin- ion over the whole of Asia Minor ; and, under Croesus, they even brought the Greek colonies under subjection. About 550, however, the Lydian power came to an end, when Cyrus, ad- vancing in his victorious march, took the splendid capital Sardis, and incorporated the country with the great Persian


The monuments which belong to the early ages of Asia


History of Art.

Minor ^ consist chiefly of tombs, which are to be found in con- siderable number and varied structure, from the simple form of the tumulus to the more complicated and individual building. The earliest and most primitive of these works are to be met with in Lydia, for the most part in the form of tomb-mounds, consisting of a cone, often of considerable dimensions, placed upon a circular substructure. In the centre of the building, a quadrangular vault is hewn out of the solid rock ; and the roof IS formed by gradually projecting the stones of the opposite sides until they meet over the middle. On the "north coast of the Gulf of Smyrna a great number of such tumuli are pre-




Fig. 52. Tomb of Tantalus, in Lydia. b. Plan of Interior Cell. c. Section of Cell, showing Maiitior

of Roofing.

served : the largest among them is the so-called Tomb of Tan- talus, the lower diameter of which is about two hundred feet (Fig. 52). Similar tomb-mounds, some of them also of great extent, are to be found in the neighborhood of ancient Sardis, among them three of prominent importance, which are sup- posed to be the tombs of the kings Alyattes, Gyges, and Ardys.

In contrast to these large, primitive, isolated buildings, the monuments of Phrygia are found to be essentially different. They consist of rock-cut sepulchres with artistically sculptured

1 Cf. Texier, nescription d2 I'Asie Minetire. 3 vols. Paris, 1849.

Phrygian Reniaiiis. — Rock-cut Tombs.


facades. If, in the plan of these structures, we find an analogy with the rock-facaded sepulchres of the Persians, this analogy by no means extends to the artistic execution : on the con- trary, the Phrygian monuments exhibit in every respect a mode of treatment peculiar to themselves, and cannot be brought into comparison with other works. The facades, which are of con- siderable size, have the general form of a gabled front. They

Fig. 53. Tomb of Midas.

consist of a quadrangular panel, the top of which rises in a low pediment. But there is no suggestion in any part of this de- sign of a definite architectural form or arrangement. These remarkable facades might be compared to great tapestries stretched in a vast frame. The frames are decorated with rhomboidal ornaments, while a species of meander-pattern covers the whole surface of the interior. The gable, also, is


History of Art.

usually bordered with a rhomboidal pattern. No part in the whole facade stands out with strong effect of shadow ; no pow- erful profile asserts the rights of masonry. Tapestries and lio-ht wooden framework are evidently the models on which they were constructed. Below, in the centre, is an opening by

which the sepulchre is entered. The only characteristic feature is the volute, with a pair of which orna- ments the point of the sable is crowned. This form, which we also meet with in Persep- olis and Nimrud, we may therefore reasona- bly regard as peculiarly belonging to Western Asia. C o n s p i c u o u s among these monu- ments, both for size and age, is the so- called Tomb of Midas at Dogan-lu, about thir- ty-six feet broad by forty feet high, with ancient Phrygian in- scriptions (P^ig. 53).

Another form, again, and a new stage of development, is exhibited in the monuments of Lycia. Here, too, the rock- structure is used by preference, though in a very different manner. There are two principal forms in which the native tombs are executed. Either the tomb is chiselled out of the mass of rock as an independent monolith, which, in the form of a sarcophagus, represents a wooden construction with all the marks of intentional imitation ; or the sepulchre, as is fre- quently the case, is cut out of the rock, upon which a fa9ade is

Fig. 54. Rock Tomb at Myra.

Lycimi Remains. — Tombs at Myra. 91

chiselled, exhibiting still more decidedly the appearance of a

Fig. 55. Rock-cut Tombs at Myra

wooden building. A complete scaffolding of sills curved


History of Art.

upward, of posts, studs, and beams, shows a close and careful imitation of timber construction ; so that one might imagine this a log-house turned to stone (Fig. 54). The upper part is formed either horizontally, or, as in the Phrygian tombs, with a gently rising gabled roof, yet not, as is the case with these, in expressionless, unbroken flatness, but with a strongly project- ing cornice, characteristically decorated with an imitated row

Fig. 56. Tomb at Kyanea-Jaghu.

of cross-pieces of timber. The principal places in which such monuments are discovered are Phellus, Antiphellus, Xanthus, Telmissus, Myra, and others. Sometimes the whole face of the mountain is covered with these remarkable constructions ; so that, in such a necropolis, tomb follows tomb, one rising above

Lycia. — Other Forrns of Tombs. 93

another, all crowded together in the closest neighborhood

(I^^ig- 55)-

Besides these tombs, there are many others in Lycia, in which, while the rock facade is the fundamental architectural motive of the monument, it is treated in a manner essentially different, and evidently influenced by Greek models. Here the Greek-Ionic column is used, and a distinctly Greek form is given to the upper parts, the entablature, and the gabled roof. This is done in two ways : either the facade is chiselled on the rock in strong relief, after the usual manner ; or a portico-like entrance is formed with detached columns. As a rule, there are two col- umns, though occasionally only one, placed between two strong angle-piers. The forms are decidedly Hellenic-Ionic, — the capital with the volutes ; the base with the circular projecting and receding mouldings ; the tapering column, chiefly without fluting ; the entablature in two parts, crowned with a dentated cornice ; and the gable, finished at the point and ends with a rude, simple acroterium. Monuments such as these are to be found at Telmissus, Antiphellus, Myra, Kyanea-Jaghu, and other' places (Fig. 56). Besides these decided Hellenic forms, there are reminiscences of Persian architecture to be found in various works, such as on a facade at Limyra. the strongly effective crowning of the door by a tinting decorated with leaves. Lastly, in a monument at Xanthus, now in the British Museum in Lon- don, there is a completely finished detached buildmg. It con- sists of a temple-cella in the Ionic style, resting on a square basement. At first it was supposed to be the Tomb of Harpa- gus : it has now from its sculptured ornaments received the name of the Nereid Monument. Its origin may be dated about 370 B.C.

As regards the date of the monuments of Asia Minor, we may expect further information from the decipherment of the inscriptions : in the mean while, the character of the reliefs sculptured on them must be the standard by which to deter- mine their age. The earliest works are undoubtedly those


94 History of Art.

primitive tomb-mounds of Lydia, which may reach as far back as the period of Gyges and Alyattes (seventh century B.C.). After them, as belonging to the sixth century, follow the Phrygian monuments with their Jia'ive and playful style ; while the Lycian tombs, with their imitation of a wooden structure, or of decidedly Hellenic forms, belong to the fifth, and even to the third century.^

The sculpture of Asia Minor, when not bearing traces of Hellenic inspiration, has hitherto only come to our knowledge in scanty isolated remains. The most remarkable and most ancient works are the rock-sculptures of the former city of Pterium in Galatia, near the village of Boghaz-Koei, —reliefs rudely and plainly executed, representing two processions of men meeting each other; probably intended, to judge by the costume, as embassies from two different nations. A marble seat at the same place has lion figures on both sides, after the fashion of Assyrian works. Still more distinctly is Ninevese ornament recalled to mind by the fantastic colossal figures on a portal near the village of Uejiik, — figures composed of a bird's body, with lion's paws and a human head. On the other hand, the relief of a lion tearing asunder a bull, on the gable of a tomb fa(:ade at Myra, distinctly suggests a Persian original.

Thus the ancient art of Asia Minor shows the influence of the same causes, the effects of which have exercised a deciding influence upon the political destiny of the country. Lacking a fixed centralizing power, the various elements have been scat- tered ; and, the less an energetic predisposition to the higher development of art was innate in the different races, the more easily must these races have yielded to the influence of the powerful neighboring nations, which had such a decided effect also upon their political condition.

[1 "Sir Charles Fellows: Journal of an Excursion into Asia Minor, 1839; Xanthian Marbles, 1843; Account of an Ionic Trophy Monument, 1848. The rich archffiological re- mains of Lycia were quite unknown until announced by him." —Johnson's Cyclop<edia:\




From the Himalaya, the highest mountain-range in the world, covering with its vast glaciers an extent of country equal to the length of Scandinavia, there slopes down in grand terraces a land, which, projecting southwards in a compact mass, stretches its tapering point far into the Indian Ocean. This great peninsula — which, from its northern boundary to its most southern headland, Cape Comorin, occupies an extent as great as that from the shores of the Baltic to the most southern cape of Greece — is predestined by its natural position for an exclusive civilization. Separated from the northern countries by the rocky walls of the Himalaya, and enclosed towards west and east by the mighty streams of the Indus and Brahma- putra, the immense territory of Hither India is compressed into a continental mass, only divided by a rich network of rivers. Among these, the most important is the sacred stream of the Ganges, which, with its tributary the Djumna, rushes down from the ice-fields of the Himalaya, and, flowing in one united stream from Allahabad, empties its waters by a hundred mouths into the Bay of Bengal.

As everywhere in the earliest history of mankind a higher development of civilization has followed the course of mighty streams, so is it also here. The ancient glory of the Hindoo empire first flourished in the land enclosed by the Ganges and Djumna, the sacred Duab : here, even in the twelfth century


96 History of Art.

B.C., stood the magnificent capitals of the Brahminical rulers, Hastinapuras, Indraprastas, and Madura, and, farther down the Ganges, Paliobatra. — great cities, whose size, wealth, and magnificence were extolled in the old Indian epics. Nor ought this to excite our wonder, since, in the earliest ages, the nature of the land produced a civilization of rare abundance and splendor. No country in the world displays under the tropics such luxuriant productiveness, combining m the north, in Hin- dostan Proper, the phenomena of all the zones, from the eternal ice and scanty vegetation of the glacier-world to the exuberant under-growth and majestic palms of the tropics. Under the glowing tropical sun the moist soil becomes fertile beyond imagination, producing for man, in lavish abundance, all that he needs for life, but also stupefying and entangling the mind irretrievably with the overwhelming force of its fecundity.

It could not be otherwise than that the exuberancy of East- ern nature should have captivated the mind of man, stirring up his imagination, filling it with brilliant pictures, and fostering in him a love of contemplation and luxurious ease. With this was blended a deep delight in the study of the secrets of nature, an enthusiastic devotion to the native soil, and a leaning to subtle speculation. The old poems of the people, with their high poetic charm, exhibit the first of these traits : indeed, the tender enthusiasm for nature exhibited in Kalidasa's " Sakoon- tala" ' betrays a deep sympathy unknown to the other nations of antiquity. But just as nature in India is filled with rude changes and sudden transitions, so is it also with the moral world. Side by side with gentle enthusiasm we meet with un- bridled excess ; tender love of nature is contrasted with hard- ness of feeling, which finds striking expression in the caste- divisions of the people. This state of things was evidently the result of great historical revolutions, probably connected with

[1 Sakoontala, or The Lost Ring ; an Indian Drama. Translated into English prose and

verse by Monier Williams. Hertford, 1855.)

India. — Character of the People. (^y

the conquest of the land by Caucasian tribes penetrating west- ward in ancient times. Not merely the unmistakable differ- ence of races, the strict separation of the subordinate from the ruling castes of priest and soldier, but also the contempt strengthened by religious maxims under which the former groaned, imply the relation of a subjugated people to their con- querors. The Caucasian origin of the latter is partly proved by their physical structure, and partly by their language, the Sanscrit : this family forms the most eastern branch of the great Indo-Germanic race, extending over the whole of South- ern and Central Europe. The Hindoos, however, afford an- other illustration of the general truth, that the original charac- ter of a people acquires fixed traits in consequence of the peculiarities of climate and the unceasing correlation between' nature and the mind : for so powerful has been the influence of nature upon them, that they have never attained that healthy national pride which must exist before a people can have a his- tory ; and, however deep may have been the experiences which they have undergone, these have never lifted them beyond the limits of that purely sensuous existence which has grown out of the unchanging and permanent conditions of the nature that surrounds them. But, instead of this impulse to practical activity, there early appears a powerful bent toward the investi- gation of the spiritual life, to thought, as well as to speculation. Thus their development was exclusively limited to religious matters. In contrast to the polytheistic belief of Brahminism, which, with its spiritless formula, its mechanical works of charity, and depressing creed of an everlasting migration of souls, had corrupted to the utmost the national mind of the Hindoo people, there arose in Buddhism a purer, more human, and more com- forting system of ideas. Buddha's appearance occurs between 600 and 540 years B.C. ; and with him there begins in India a more elevated and more deeply-excited mental life. About 250 B.C., Buddhism, under King Agoka, obtained the supremacy over Brahminism ; which again, after the lapse of some cen-

98 History of Art.

turies, conquered in its turn, and drove back the doctrines of Buddha to China and the eastern isles, where three hundred millions still adhere to this faith.

With the victorious advance of Buddhism, monumental art- creations seem to have begun in India. So far as inquiry has yet ascertained, there is nothing to confirm the belief that so long prevailed as to the extreme antiquity of the Indian monu- ments. The splendid descriptions of palaces and temples in the old epics, the "Mahabharata" and the" Ramayana," which are cited in proof of the great antiquity of Indian architecture, may be considered as interpolations made at a much later period of culture. Indian art seems, therefore, to have really begun with the rise of Buddhism, and, from the very first, to have displayed a style of its own in its magnificent monuments. This style was subsequently adopted by Brahminism, and, aided by more luxu- rious wealth and more brilliant imagination, produced wonderful results. Even when India in its weakness submitted to the powerful inroads of the Mohammedans, when the old Brahmini- cal cities vanished to make room for the new capitals of the conquerors, still the Hindoo people retained with their ancient religion their native style of architecture ; and later, in modern times, this architecture experienced a revival, which, in uncouth fancifulness and bombastic overloading, was in no wise behind that of the earlier ages.


The extensive territory of India, the superficial area of which is equal to that of the whole of Europe, with the exception of Russia, is covered throughout its various districts — in Hindostan Proper as well as in the peninsula of the Deccan, in the rocky

1 Cf. Denkm. der Kunst, plates 9 and 10. Langles, Monumens anciens et modernes de I'Hindoustan. 2 vols. Paris, 1821. A. Cunningham, The Bhilsa Topes. London, 1S52. J. Fergusson, Hand-Book of Architecture, vol. i. London, 1855. Daniell, Excavations of EUora. [L. Rousselet, India and its Native Princes. London and New York, 1876. Trans- lated from the French. J. Fergusson, Illustrations of the Rock-cut Temples of India, i vol. Text with folio plates. London, 1S45.]

Indian Art. — Buddhist Period.


mountains of the Ghauts as well as on the coasts of Coroman- del, in the highlands of Central India as well as in Ceylon and the other islands, in Afghanistan as well as in Cashmere — with an astonishing number of monuments, the common type of which, though with manifold change of form, points to the two great Indian systems of religion. All the buildings in this inex- haustible world of monuments were devoted exclusively to reli- gious purposes, and prove anew how entirely Indian life was confined within this circle of ideas. The earliest known works are some mighty columns, which King A^oka erected in honor of Buddhism about 250 B.C., in the Ganges district, near Alla- habad, Delhi, and other places. They are all of the same con- struction, above forty feet high, rising in a tapering form from a base of more than ten feet in circumference, and terminating in a curved capital with hang- ing leaves (Fig. 57),^ on which the figure of a lion rests as a symbol of Buddha. The form of the capital, and still more the flower-decora- tion round the neck of the column (Fig. 58),^ point most remarkably to a West Asiatic (that is, the Babylonic-Assyrian) influence, which might be traced to Alexander's march of con- quest, and establishes to all appearance the surprising fact, that the Indian monumental style began with forms borrowed from other nations. If this, however, be the case, still in the earlier Indian civilization, of which we certainly have no certain knowledge, distinct na- tional forms of art must have been already developed, and these Buddhism presently developed into monumental importance.

The ceremonies of this religious system required especially two principal forms of monumental designs, — that of the stupa

[1 See FergusEon, Hand-Book of Architecture, vol i. p. 7.] [2 Compare Cut No. 29, Ornament from Kujjundschik.]

Fig. 57. Capital ot the Column at Bhitari.

Fig. 5S. From the Column at Allahabad.



lOO History of Art.

or tope, tomb-mounds, in which were preserved the rehcs of Buddha and those of his foremost disciples and adherents ; and that of the vihara, which served as general dwelling-places for the priests, who led a monastic life. A striking harmony with the conditions of surrounding nature is shown in the forms of these buildings. The tope is nothing but a simple tumulus, the most primitive form of monument we know of. For the most part, it consists of a half-conical elevation upon a terrace- like substructure, often scarcely to be distinguished from a nat- ural hill. These mounds, which are of very different sizes, are, as a rule, built of solid brick-work laid in mud, and coated on the outside with dressed stone. They contain a small chamber in which the relics were preserved. Hence they also bear the name dagop ; i.e., the hiding-place of the body.' Frequently the motive of a higher architectural design is to be found in this original form ; the terraces gain in greater circumference and height ; the circular building is furnished with cornices and ornamental work ; and the whole is often surrounded with slender columns, to which is added a stone enclosure with stately portals. King A9oka is said to have built no less than eighty-four thousand of such topes in the cities of his empire, and to have distributed in these the relics of Buddha, — a state- ment which, with no doubt some legendary exaggeration, points to the fact of great activity in building. More definite are the reports respecting the buildings erected by King Dushtagamani in Ceylon, about 150 B.C. The Mahastupa — i.e., the great stupa, founded by him, and which is believed to be identical

[1 "They" (i.e., the topes) "differed considerably in the purposes for which they were designed, and in the feelings of veneration with which they were regarded. The most im- portant of these purposes was the preservation of relics, the worship of these objects being one of the principal characteristics of Buddhism. In some of the topes that have been opened, regular rehc-chambers are found, some still furnished witli the rehcs themselves, others plun- dered of their treasure. These were properly designated as iagolas (from dhain, relic, and gabba or gar ba, shrine or womb), of which the word ' pagoda ' appears to be a corruption. Otlier topes have been found to contain neither relic nor relic-chamber ; and these must have been erected to mark some sacred spot, or commemorate some event in the history of Buddha or of his religion." — Fergusson : Hand-Book of Architecture, vol. i. p. 8.]

Indian Architecture. — The Topes.


\vith the Ruanwelli-Dagop — reaches even now, in spite of its partial destruction, to a height of one hundred and forty feet, based upon a mighty granite terrace of five hundred feet broad. Especially expressive in form is the so-called Thuparamaya- Dagop (Fig. 59), in the neighborhood of the ancient capital Anurajapura : it is only forty-five feet high, but is surrounded with many circles of slender, reed-like pillars. Smaller in plan are the topes of the Central Indian group at Bhilsa, altogether consisting of about thirty monuments of various size, among

Fig. 59. Thuparamaya-Dagop.

the most important of which are the two topes of Sanchi. The larger, about fifty-six feet high, with a base-diameter of one hundred and twenty feet, rises cupola-like in several off- sets, surrounded by a stone enclosure with four handsome sculptured portals. This enclosure is formed of stone posts; the upper part of the portals is constructed with curiously curved stOxie beams ; and the portals themselves are evidently imitations of wooden construction. In this monument the primitive tumulus appears developed in various decorated


History of Art.

forms : nevertheless, the capitals of the slender columns which mark the entrance to the principal portals suggest, in their simi- larity with the triumphal columns of A(joka, the early epoch of Buddhist art.^

The viharas are of an essentially different character. As Buddha had set the example of a secluded hermit-life, his fol- lowers repaired to the mountains for pious contemplation, and chose for their dwellings the hollows of the rock. These caves were soon artificially enlarged into those vast excavations in which the wondrous charm of Indian architecture principally lies. Besides these viharas, with their monastic cell-like caves.


Fie. 60. Cave of Karli. Ground-Plan and Section.

there were other structures of a similar kind, the so-called chaitjas, which, with an almost regularly recurring plan, ap- pear to have been temples. The rock, in most of these, is hewn out into a long, rectangular cave, terminating in a semi- circle at the end opposite to the entrance. Two rows of pillars,

\} See Fengusson, Hand-Book of Architecture, vol. i. p. 10.]

Rock- cut Temples of India.


or columns, connected by an architrave, serve to support the tunnel-vaulted roof of the broad central nave. At the semi- circular end of the building, which strikingly resembles the plan of the Christian basilicas, there rises a dagop, exhibiting in a niche the colossal image of the deified Buddha. For the rest, as a rule, these buildings, in harmony with the spirit of Buddhism, disdain all rich decoration. Among the caves of this kind, that of Karli may be mentioned as one of the earliest (Fig. 60). Others are to be found on the Island Salsette, at Bang, in Central India, and in many other places, mingled with Brahminical works.

Fig. 61. Cave of Elephanta.

Brahminism, indeed, soon vied with Buddhism in the exca- vation of these temple-caves, and endeavored, by variety in the combination of courts and by exuberant and fanciful decoration, to surpass the Buddhist caves.^ Splendid monuments of this kind are to be found in the Island Elephanta, near Bombay : the interior of the principal cave is shown in Fig. 61. The most magnificent works, however, are to be seen in the neighborhood of Ellora, where the mighty masses of the granite mountains

1 Denkmaler der Kunst, plate 9.

I04 History of Art.

have been hewn out in a semicircle a mile in circumference. The temples here often extend in two stories, one over the other : indeed, the whole rocky ceiling is sometimes burst asunder, so that open temple-courts are formed in the interior of the mountains ; and in the centre of these the principal shrine, with its chapels and its cella, is left standing like a monolithic mass of rock skilfully hewn out. The most splen- did monument is the Kailasa Cave at Ellora, conspicuous both for its extent and for i1:s lavish abundance of sculptured orna- •ment. The whole surface is covered, in fantastic irregularity, with the strange creations of Brahminical symbolism, — forms of men and animals in wild complexity and disorder ; Atlas-like figures apparently supporting the entablature, lions, elephants, and curiously-fashioned composite beings ; the whole of this motley life being elaborated with the untired industry of a ser- vile chisel. The architectural members proper also, especially the columns which have to bear the weight of the rocky ceiling, assume the most capricious and varied forms by the fantastic taste of Indian art. As the whole cave-system, owing to the direct appropriation of the natural rock, is, in all its forms, dependent upon local conditions, so we also find an absolute arbitrariness in the details.^ Certain characteristic features in the design of the pillars, however, recur tolerably often ; such as a quadrangular Imse, with a swelling column curved in out- line, rising above it, and ending with a projecting capital of an extremely bulging form. The pillars are connected by strong architraves; and a console-like member, in imitation of wood, is generally placed between the capital and the entablature (Figs.' 62 and 61). In the Buddhist caves the designs of the pillars are simpler, with a general leaning to an octagonal form.

Besides these buildings, which in countless number and won- derful splendor are spread over the mountains of the Deccan and the numerous islands, Brahminism has also produced a

1 Denkmaler der Kunst, jilate 9.

Hindoo Pagodas. — Jaina Architecture.


multitude of no less magnificent detached buildings. We refer to the temple-structures, the so-called pagodas, — extensive groups of buildings, surrounded with vast walls interspersed with stately gates and towers, generally containing several courts with greater and lesser temples, chapels, and other

Fig. 63. Pillar at Ellora.

Fig. 62. Capital at Ellora.

shrines, pools for sacred ablutions, colonnades, galleries, and immense courts for pilgrims (Tchultris). In all these buildings, the form of the tope again asserts itself as especially congenial to the national mind ; so that gates, towers, and other promi- nent parts, are fashioned in this style. Increased effect is sought to be given to these complex build- ings by means of vast extent and bulk : the different parts often rise to a considerable height and in a pyramidal form, several stories with convex curved roofs being placed one above another, diminishing in size as they ascend, the whole ending in a cupola-like point. Magnificent buildings of this kind are especially to be met with in the southern districts of the Deccan : as, for instance, the mighty Pagoda of Chillambrum, with its four splendid portals ; the Pagoda of Mahamalaipur, on the coast of Coromandel (Fig. 64) ; the famous Pagoda of Juggernaut, built in the year 1198 A.D. ; and others.

A separate group is formed by the buildings of the Jainas, a sect between Brahminism and Buddhism, whose splendid but more recent monuments are especially to be met with in Mysore


History of Art.

and Guzerat. Extensive courts with arched halls and numerous chapels, and especially the constant introductions of cupola-like vaulted roofs, distinguish these buildings, which are conspicuous for their fantastic ornamentation. Many splendid temples rise

on Mt. Abu ; others are situated at Chan- dravati ; and there is a particularly extensive and magnificent one at Sadree. In all these isolated works there is abundance of rich fan- tastic ornament ; and, although their propor- tions are more slender, there is the same ca- priciousness in the treatment of the ar- chitectural parts as in the details. Thus in all the varieties of Indian architecture, extending, as these buildings do, over thousands of years, the character remains the same : instead of simple definite forms, there is a chaos of wild lines and figures, in nothing inferior to the intoxicating luxuriance, the mighty power of production, and the overwhelm- ing variety of the life of Indian nature, and almost eclipsing the wonders of that nature by wonders still more bold.

Fig. 64. Pagoda of Mahamalaipur.


Religious ideas were not less influential in the development of sculpture' among the Hindoos than they were in architect- ure. Buddhism, enjoining as it did a more severe and simple doctrine in contrast to the polytheism of Brahminism, was ori-

1 Denkmaler der Kunst, plate 11.

Hindoo Sculpture. 107

ginally, in conformity with tliis ascetic bias, averse to sculptured representations ; the only exception allowed being that of the figure of Buddha, enthroned in the shrine of the temple-cella, or hewn by itself in a rocky niche, such as the statue of Buddha, one hundred and twenty feet in height, in the rocky wall at Bamiyan, in the extreme west of India. In these figures the expression of deep reflection and profound con- templation is rendered with grave simplicity. It is remarkable, moreover, that the oldest monuments of Buddhism exhibit an attempt at historical sculpture. Thus, for instance, on the portal of the great Tope of Sanchi, there are representations in relief of battles and sieges, betraying a certain degree of lifelike character and naive freshness of conception in a chronicle-like style of representation. Historical feeling, how- ever, was so little natural to the Hindoo, that these scanty attempts — witnesses as they are to the victorious progress of the Buddhists, and of a mental life, in consequence, elevated and influenced by outward circumstances — appear somowhat iso- lated. Brahminism, with its fantastic worship and its strangely extravagant ideas, so entirely swayed the national mind, that even Buddhism soon lost its original purity, and mingled with its doctrines the various fanciful creations of Brahminical worship. As, however, the gods of the Hindoos are blended vaguely and variously into one another, from the old national chief divinity, Brahma, who, in conjunction with Siva and Vish- nu, formed the Hindoo Trinity (Trimurti), down through the thirteen lesser divinities and the countless demons and gods of the Indian Olympus, so also sculpture proceeds with uncertain steps in giving shape to these intangible creations. The myste- rious and mystical effect of the temple-cave was to be increased by sculptured representations of no less solemn a character. The feeling of the people, however, did not create these sacred images from distinct conceptions, nor from purely human notions, but from dreamy, fantastic ideas, and from mystical speculations. Art is here not merely the handmaid of religion,

io8 Histojy of Art.

but the handmaid of a worship which knows no other way to express its ideas of God except by symbols of a monstrous kind. When, therefore, the forms of the gods, or the history of their adventures, were to be portrayed, when mysterious awe of the unapproachable was to be manifested, none but material sym- bolic accessories — a crowd of members, heads, arms, and legs, or fantastic combinations of animal and human bodies — were had recourse to, to aid the vague attempt at expression.

These representations are, for the most part, carved in strong projecting relief on the outside of the topes and pagodas, or in the interior upon the pillars or cornices, and in niches in the wall. The personages of the Brahminical mythology, of the mythical heroic legends, are here combined with free fantastic creations : there are everywhere symbolic allusions, profound allegones, effusions of a rich exuberant imagination, but rarely a simple representation of the common events of every-day life, and never, it seems, of historical events. The style of these sculptures, which exhibits certain changes, it is true, in the course of centuries, advancing from severe formalism to greater freedom of action, and at length to wild exaggeration, displays, notwithstanding, a uniform character throughout the whole period. A higher law of artistic arrangement, a clear and simple composition, is not looked for when a chaotic world of unbridled fancy presents itself for plastic representation. In sculptures abounding in figures, there is, therefore, for the most part, that motley confusion which marks the Indian turn of mind ; and the more lively and animated the events to be depicted, the greater the confusion. We find it thus in the sculptures of Mahamalaipur, where peculiarly dramatic scenes are exhibited in extensive reliefs ; such as the one in which the six-armed Durga, the consort of tlie mighty Siva, sur- rounded by a crowd of fighting and fallen, rushes forward, mounted on a lion, to destroy a gigantic bull-headed demon (Fig. 65). Whenever, on the other hand, a state of calm existence is to be depicted in smaller spaces and more simple groups, there

Hindoo Sculpture and Painting.


Indian art often displays a tenderly attractive grace, a delicate sense of nature, and a naivete of feeling, which remind us of the most beautiful passages of the " Sakoontala." Most especially does Indian sculpture succeed in the expression of womanly grace ; and even in the conception of male figures there is a

Fig. 65. Relief from Mahamalaipur.

touch of this womanly softness. Certainly, almost without ex- ception, there is a lack of energetic life, of a firm contexture of bone and muscle : they are beings rather created for dreamy brooding and soft enjoyment than for the vigorous grasping of life in thought and action. In harmony with this, we find full, swelling, luxurious softness in the lines and forms, and easy carelessness of attitude. Striking examples of this tendency are to be seen, especially in the Kailasa at Ellora (Fig. 66), in the principal cave at Elephanta, and other places.

Painting also appeared at an early j^eriod in extensive wall- decorations, as in the caves of A junta and Bang, where great processions with elephants, and the figure of Buddha, battle- scenes, and hunts, are represented in lively colors, — red, blue, white, and brown. The figures of the animals especially are freely executed, and with a lifelike adherence to nature. At a later period, Indian art turned its chief attention to miniature-

I lO

History of Art.

painting ; and works of this kind are often to be met with in European libraries and collections. The old symbolic range of

ideas open to Indian art / --' here shows itself to be

exhausted, and only to exist in the cold form of tradition. Wher- ever, on the other hand, representations from actual life, especially scenes of an idyllic kind, appear, the con- ventional mode of exe- cution is broken through by a sweet poetic feeling, full of great tenderness and grace.

Relief of Kailasa at Ellora.


So mighty a system of civilization as the Indian must neces- sarily exercise lasting influence on surrounding nations ; and we find, therefore, that, together with the religious ideas of the Hindoos, their art also extended north and south, over the con- tinent and the great groups of adjacent .islands. Still there is sufficient freedom of taste to cause various remodellings of form at different points ; and, in effecting these, many national condi- tions and outward influences occur.

One remarkable branch of Indian art is to be found in the extreme north-west, in the mountainous country of Cashmere, famous for its fertility and beauty, shut in as it is between two chains of snowy heights. ^ The numerous monuments of the country belong to the period of the highest prosperity and diffusion of the Brahminical worship. The sacred buildings

1 IJurke and Cole, Illustrations of Ancient Buildings in Cashmere. London, 1870.

The Architecture of Cashmere.

1 1 1

are, for the most part, detached temples, stately in design, with extensive courts surrounded by walls. As in India Proper, the form of the edifice in its main parts is based on that of the tope, though not without decided modifications, which show a peculiarly different turn of mind. The principal elements consist, on the one hand, in a distinct imitation of wooden construction, and, on the other, of late Hellenic forms, probably introduced through the Bactro-Scythian lands. While the latter is evident in the formation of the socles, bases, and mouldings, and in the tasteless employment of the system of antique col- umns and beams, the former is to be traced in the general form and in the fundamental design of the structure. The sacred buildings, either of greater or smaller dimensions, rise upon a quadrangular, socle-like substructure, the walls being composed of a rather confused system of columns, steep gables, and niches. The whole is termi- nated by a roof rising pyramid- wise in several offsets ; and the straight lines of this roof, in contrast to the full swelling form of the monuments of Hindostan, call to mind most decidedly the effect of wooden constructions. A temple such as this is to be seen at Payach (Fig. 6^), one of the smaller buildings, but interesting from its characteristic design. A larger temple, with adjoining buildings, court, and walls, is _

to be found at Martand ; and

Fig. 67. Temple of Payach.

several, partly destroyed, at

Avantipur. Sculpture has also been employed upon these

monuments, but without attaining to any special importance.

1 1 2 History of Art.


The other lands of this extensive region of civilization are chiefly, or even exclusively, under the influence of Buddhist ideas. Among them we may name, in the first place, the moun- tainous country of Nepal, lying in the north of Hindostan, and stretching away close under the loftiest snow-peaks of the Himalaya. Here the original Buddhist dagop is developed into a vast detached building, combining, amid much fantastic decoration, the rich and varied forms of Indian architecture, with bold, tower-like slenderness. Especially the temple, which here is designated exclusively Chaitja, presents a striking ex- ample of this form, with its richly-decorated substructure, wall- niches, and slender-pointed cupolas. Still more toy-like, and inclining towards the Chinese style of architecture, are the cloister-like viharas. The most conspicuous monument of this class seems to be the great temple of the capital Kathmandu. The sculptures with which these monuments are richly deco- rated exhibit a mannered imitation of the Buddhist sculptures of Hindostan. The Nepalese evince especial skill up to the present day in the working of various metals.

In the monuments of the Island of Java, which belong to the later period of Indian art, Buddhist and Brahminical forms are frequently combined into a grand and richly-developed whole, which, with all its fantastic ornament, attains to an imposing dignity of effect. The circular form of the dagop is frequently employed to crown the mass of the exterior, the walls of which are subdivided by means of a rich system of niches. Among a great number of splendid buildings, the Temple of Boro Budor is pre-eminent for magnificence and extent (Fig. 68). The principal temple is a mighty structure five hundred and twenly- six feet wide, rising terrace-like in six stories to a height of a hundred and sixteen feet, each offset having niches containing sitting statues of Buddha and an arched roof, and the whole being crowned with a number of cupolas, in the centre of which

Architecture in Java and Pegu.


an immense dagop towers above all. Sculpture also, in Java, follows in its peculiarly rich detail the model of the Indian, in common with which it exhibits a fondness for fantastic device, and an especially graceful treatment of form. The sphere of representation is composed of Buddhist and Brahminical ele- ments ; and the material employed is not only stone, but metal, which is worked with skill by the Javanese artisan.

Fig. 68. Temple of Boro Sudor.

A third group, again following more exclusively Buddhist traditions, is formed by the monuments of Pegu, the region watered by the Irrawaddy in Farther India. Here, too, we find the dagop again as the primitive form, but, for the most part, massive in structure, and of mighty dimensions. Yet here a new variation appears, in an octagonal building, tapering into a slender point, rising from a broad substructure. Splendid colors and rich gold ornament, besides colossal bronze statues, for the moulding of which Peguan art was distinguished, in- crease the fantastic grandeur of these buildings. The best


History of Art.

known monuments are the Temples of Rangun, Pegu, and Kommodu, the latter being about three hundred feet high.^


Chinese art, so far as it was employed for religious objects, likewise received its impulse from Buddhism, which began to spread through the vast empire about the year 50 A.D., and gradually acquired exclusive sway. As, however, the character of this soberly-intelligent and practically-wise people, with their preponderating attention to worldly aims and gains, is diametri- cally opposite to the fanciful, poetic mind of the Indians, we find the forms of art considerably modified, the breath of deep symbolism and grand seriousness effaced, and in its place an effort after well-arranged elegance and varied ornament. Here too, onlv still more decidedly than in other Indian architecture,

there is a preponder- ance of wooden con- struction ; or the idea of it is, at any rate, per- ceptible everywhere.

In the Chinese tem- ples there is an unmis- takable adherence to the dagop form, al- though very radically modified (Fig. 69). Most of the small buildings diminish in size at every story ; so that each succeeding story recedes behind

Fig. 69. Chinese Temple. •'

the concave roof of the former. A gallery of brightly-varnished wooden pillars, often filled up with gilt trellis-work, surrounds the lower floor.

[1 Fers^usson : Hand-Book of Architecture, p. 30.]

Chinese Architectu7'-e. 115

Fantastically -twisted carved work, especially the figure of the fabled dragon, ornaments the projecting rafters ; and the never-failing multitude of little bells, suspended at every point, complete the childishly-playful character of these buildings. The slender tower also, so great a favorite with the Chinese, the so-called Tha, which rises in many stories to a tapering point, always the same in plan and decoration, may be regarded as an offspring, though a remote one, of the Indian tope. The most famous of these towers is the porcelain tower at Nanking, rising to above two hundred feet high in nine stories. The walls are covered with shining tiles of porcelain ; and this, with the gay painting and rich gilding, are the characteristic features not only of this building, but of most others of a similar char- acter.

A far grander and more serious feeling is exhibited in those buildings of the Chinese adapted to useful purposes, most of which belong to their early epoch of civilization, — the exten- sive canals, the bold bridges, and, above all, the famous " wall," which extended about four hundred miles, with a height and breadth of twenty-five feet, fortified by numerous bastions of defence, and which was built about 200 B.C. for the protection of the northern barriers of the empire.

In the plastic arts of the Chinese we find a quaint extrava- gance in religious representations, combined with a certain intelligent conception of life and nature, which, in their paint- ings especially, is united with an unusually accurate but tedious and conventional style, in which we almost entirely miss that characteristic which alone gives value to art, — activity of ima- gination. We here touch closely on the boundary-line of art, and gladly resign the entire field to the investigator of civiliza- tion and the collector of curiosities.

The art of the Japanese is essentially linked with that of the Chinese ; and, like them, it delights in introducing a fantastically- decorated w^ooden style into architecture. They, too, never arrived at a higher architectural feeling, as may be seen in the

1 1 6 History of Art.

form of their vessels and implements. Thus their cabinet-work, which is wonderfully executed in a technical point of view, their toilet-cases, work-tables, etageres, and chests of drawers, possess the strange peculiarity of never being symmetrical in the arrangement of the sliding drawers ; and the inlaid ornament obstinately avoids all regularity of design. The vessels of bronze also, the perfume-boxes, cups, and candlesticks, exhibit ugly forms of every kind, covered at the same time with fantas- tic devices. Many of these vessels assume the form of distorted monsters, or goblin-like creatures ; the Japanese imagination, like the Chinese, constantly verging upon the grotesque. It is only where a naive naturalism asserts itself in these works that a keen observation of nature and lively conception is apparent. As an illustration, we may mention those bronze candlesticks which are formed of a slender, heron-like water-bird, standing on the broad back of a tortoise, and holding a water-plant in its beak, the opened blossom of which holds the candle.

The Japanese people seem to possess an especial gift for draw- ing and painting ; but here, too, the dryest realism prevails, pro- ducing, it is true, excellent things in the imitation of given forms of nature, but never evidencing an attempt at the expression of an idea, nor a breath of true artistic feeling. This is felt also in their independent paintings ; as, for example, in the skilfully- executed bright pictures with which the red or black varnished trays and similar utensils are decorated. Here, also, we see an aversion to a proportionate division of space, from the fact, that, in order to display as great a surface as possible of unsurpassa- bly fine varnish, the representations are placed in one corner without any architectural counterbalance. In writing and drawing books, in compendiums, and other works intended for instruction, we see landscapes, animals, and scientific represen- tations of fishes and birds, reproduced with the most accurate observation and most exact characterization. Other books of the same kind depict in splendid colored prints the elegant life of the fashionable world of Japan ; and others, again, in more

Japanese Art. — Concbisioii. 1 1 7

homely representation portray in woodcuts the doings of the people, the motley confusion in the streets of populous cities, feats of conjurors and athletes, merry-makings in the open air, and similar scenes. In these productions, the vigorous precision of drawing, often falling into caricature, and delighting to show its power in bold foreshortenings, claims admiration no less than the keen distinctness of expression, and the full meaning given to the gestures and movements of the body. Beauty, indeed, is utterly alien to this mode of art ; and, if the imagina- tion be excited, it manifests itself only in fantastic distortions, crazy productions of a mind revelling in the hideous and the grotesque. Thus this art, like that of the Chinese, revolves incessantly in a circle between unimaginative naturalism and monstrous fantastic delineation.

We have reached the end of our considerations upon the art of the East. Extensive undertakings, and brilliant proofs of a most energetic endeavor after art, have passed before our view ; and in this mighty world we have found no lack of the charac- teristic impress of various races striving to exhibit their pecul- iar ideal of beauty. But that impression, which all Oriental art bears, of binding local prejudice and narrow national exclusive- ness, is the result of the irresistible power with which the material world controls the inward life ; of the constraining sway of a mighty nature which entangles the mind, and chains it down. As therefore, in its political condition, the East ever remained on the low plane of a strongly hierarchical despotism, as any higher independent progress beyond that was out of the question, so its art, also, was imprisoned in a narrow circle of lifeless symbols, and was compelled in a sober way to copy the outward facts of life, or to embody in fantastic extravagance the phantoms of a grotesque mysticism. Thus it could neither reach a high degree of development nor any positive progress. A further cause for this state of things was the slavish depend-

1 1 8 History of Art.

ence in which sculpture and painting were held by architecture ; for these arts can only freely unfold in independent growth when the rights of man as an individual are recognized. Im- portant, therefore, as the productions of Oriental art are in themselves, they can yet lay but small claim to an absolute and universal significance. In this respect, this art, though the growth of ages, ever remained a child, obliged to have recourse to outward symbols, instead of employing intellectual means of expression.







In the vast regions of the East we have found forms of civili- zation, chiefly growing up along the course of mighty rivers, which have struck us as strange from their enduring stability and unchangeableness. The first step we take on entering the European continent brings us into a new world, full of activity and fresh historic life, in which we at once are- sensible of a homelike feeling. The Greeks are the first to afford us the picture of personal inner development, and of progressive de- velopment within the sphere of a national life. While those Oriental nations, in their narrow, limited civilization, are only of interest to the student of history, the Greeks, on the other hand, reached an absolute height of culture, presenting a model worthy of admiration for all ages, and an inexhaustible foun- tain-head for all higher effort. Although thoroughly national, their whole mental life was so elevated, so filled with universal human significance, that it furnishes an indestructible basis for the development of all future ages ; and, in the everlasting struggle of the beautiful and the true with their antagonistic principles, Greece, like an Athene Promachos, has victoriously preceded all champions of these nobler qualities. But when we consider that the Greek race was only a branch of that great family of Asia from which the Indians and Persians were descended, and that this consanguinity is unanswerably proved by the testimony of language, the question suggests itself, why



1 2 2 History of Art.

it was that this particular branch, which we know under the name of the Greek, should have so far surpassed all other nations of similar origin. In order to understand this, it will be necessary to study carefully the nature of the country.

Separated from the northern regions by mighty chains of mountains, the territory of the Hellenes, the most southern point of Europe, stretches out towards the African and Asiatic continents, closely connected with the latter by the numerous islands of the yEgean Sea. Small as the land is in extent, it nevertheless displays a variety of surface and of coast-line such as is possessed by scarcely any other country in the world. Traversed by numerous mountains, which ramify in various directions, and project far into the sea with their headlands, the country gains a great number of independent territories, separated from each other by these lofty ridges, and opening to the sea with broad and deej) inlets. This infinitely rich individualizing of the surface at once suggests, that here, if anywhere, scope was afforded for an analogous development of human existence. Nature, too, was here softened to the mild- ness of a southern climate, moderated by sea and mountain air ; and the soil, far from tropical luxuriance, but stony and barren in certain portions, heaped its fruits into the lap of man only as the reward of his laborious toil. Bearing all these influences in mind, we shall comprehend how a people dwelling for cen- turies in such a region must gradually develop such a character as we find in the Greeks. When, far back in time, the ancestors of the Hellenes, crossing, as is probable, the Straits of the Bosphorus, spread over the land, they brought with them the civilization of the East, as it then existed, in language, man- ners, and religion. But, having once reached the new theatre of their activity, the European nature of the country asserted itself in them, and, after a long series of progressive stages of development, helped them to attain to that height where they appear before us as a new people, thoroughly independent and peculiar.

Greek Art: its Independence. 123

This correlation between civilization and topography, which is unmistakably proved as the result of all archaeological in- vestigation, has been frequently overlooked ; and thus the most various and erroneous hypotheses have been advanced •with regard to art. It has been thought necessary either to deny all connection between the Greeks and the East, or — and this especially recently — to regard the Greeks as servile imitators, at any rate as disciples, of the Egyptians and Asiatics, since, from superficial examination, a number of Greek forms of art seemed to be directly traceable to Egypt or to Asia Minor. So certainly, however, as the Greeks have independently de- veloped the genius of their language from the common basis of the primeval stock ; so certainly, as in their religious ideas, the wild and fantastic conceptions of Deity prevalent in the East have been transformed to such clear and distinct notions, that the original fundamental idea common to all only gleams faintly through them : just so certainly, in their forms of art, — so far, at least, as our historical knowledge can penetrate, — each char- acteristic trait is genuinely Hellenic. Only in certain forms belonging to the Greek archaic period do we trace the influence of Oriental art, transmitted to the ancestors of the Hellenes by the trading Phoenicians. This is the case with the capitals of the columns and with certain ornamental details of the Ionic style, which seem to come from Babylonic-Assyrian models. We find this also especially in the earliest Greek paintings on vases, where the mannered style of animal forms and the fan- tastic figures harmonize most with the works of Babylon and Assyria.

The earliest epoch of Grecian history exhibits, therefore, a flourishing condition of culture, which plainly has its coloring from the East, although with distinct modifications. We find the country in the possession of a certain number of families, who exercise their dominion in a patriarchal manner. Yet the people do not seem subject to them with Oriental subservience ; but a council of elders is convened for deliberation and decision.


Histojy of Art.

Warlike undertakings, such as the Argonautic expedition and the campaign against Troy, point to the Oriental world ; and even the peaceful relations of civilized life suggest a close connection with the East. When Homer mentions costly and splendid materials, excellent woven stuffs, or ingenious metal- work, these always proceed from Phoenician or " Sidonian men ; " and whatever evident traces of that period have come down to us reveal to us the prevalence of a taste for Oriental form. Even the later Greeks, who were separated by a mighty revo- lution from that earlier state of things, appear to have regarded the works of that period as somewhat foreign to themselves, and were wont to designate them as " Pelasgian." Many, too, as have been the conjectures and disputes of learned investiga- tors as to the origin and importance of the old inhabitants of Greece, the Pelasgians, so much seems to be certain, that the form of culture designated by their name spread uniformly in Greece, Italy, and in the islands of the Mediterranean Sea.

We shall refer to it again in our examination of early Italian art.

The artistic works which have been preserved in Greece exhibit that taste for the grand and mon- umental which belongs to all primitive epochs of art. For the most part, they are the remains of castles belonging to that heroic age, rising threateningly over the plain upon precipitous and rocky heights.^ The walls, which are of immense thickness, are formed of huge, irregular polygonal blocks, carefully fitted without the use of mortar, yet with an extremely firm bonding of the stone : later additions to the height of the walls are sometimes of more regularly dressed

Fig. 70.

Doorway at Missolonghi. From Fergusson.

1 Cf. Denkmaler der Kunst, plate 12. W. Gell, Walls of Ancient Greece.

Greek Art, — TJie Lions at Mycence.


stone. Considerable remains of this kind are to be found at Argos, Tiryns, Mycenae, and other places. Passages and gal- leries opening towards the outside are frequently connected with them, roofed over by means of the primitive device of projecting layers of stone (Fig. 70). This kind of roofing is employed on an immense scale at entrances, as at Amphissa and Phigalia ; whilst at other gates the sloping side-walls are closed by a huge stone beam, over which, however, a trian- gular opening is left for the relief of the architrave.

Fig. 71. The Lion-Relief from the Gate at Mycenae.

The most important instance of this kind is the principal gate of the Acropolis at Mycenae, important from the famous sculpture placed above the principal beam (Fig. 71). The triangular opening over the doorway, which serves as a dis- charging arch, is filled by an immense slab of limestone ten feet high. Against the centre of this slab, upon a pedestal, there stands a pillar somewhat smaller at the bottom than at


History of Ai^t.

the top ; and on both sides, in strong relief, stand two lions erect, with their fore-feet resting on the pedestal. The heads, unfor- tunately destroyed, were probably turned sidewards to suit the

Fig. 72. Plan and Section of the Treasury of Atreus at Mycenae.

1. Plan of the Treasury of Atreiis : A, rock-cut chamber ; B, doorway ; C, approach.

2. Section of the above ; B, doorway ; C, approach filled up with earth ; D, slope of the ground ;

E, wall on north side of approach ; F, lintel stone ; G, door to rock-cut chamber.

nature of the space. ^ The style of these earliest European sculptures approaches most nearly to that of the old Assyrian

[1 From the drill-holes still to be seen about the necks of these lions, it has been conjec- tured that the heads may have been of metal, and attached to the stone. It has been sug- gested, also, that the design of this relief is the oldest known prototype of an heraldic device with its supporters.]

Greek Art. — The Treasury of Atreus. 1 2 7

works : the natural forms are not unskilfully grasped in their essential elements ; and with this is combined a strict regard to the architectural design, especially shown in an ingenious adaptation to the space to be filled. The forms of the column and its base seem also to suggest the influence of Asia Minor.

This relationship appears still more distinctly in another famous monument of Greece, likewise belonging to the old capital Mycenae, — the building generally stv'led the Treasur\- of Atreus, but which is probably a funeral-vault (Fig. ^2)} It

[1 The discoveries of Dr. Schliemann have given such added interest to Mycense and. its remains, that the editor makes no apology- for supplenenting Prof. Liibke-'s description with some details borrowed from the minute account of the treasory given by Gwilt : " This buildr ino- at first misled some authors into a belief that the use of the arch was known in Greece ar a very early period : but examination of it shows that it was formed by horizontal coarses. projecting bej-ond each other as they rose, and not by radiating jomls or beds : and that the surface was afterward formed so as to give the whole the appearance of a pointed dome, by cutting away the lower angles. An approach twenty feet wide between two walls v Fig. 72, I, C) conducts us to the entrance (Fig. 72, i. B), which is nine feet six inches at the nase. seven feet ten inches at the top, and about nineteen feet hig-i. The aitrance-passage is dghteen feet long, and leads to the main chamber, which, in its gaieral form, has some re- semblance to a bee-hive, whose diameter is about forty-aght feet, and heght aboat forty-nine (Fig. 72, 2). The blocks are placed in courses, of which thirty4our are at present i-isible. The>- are laid with the greatest precision, without cemait, and are unequal in size. Their average height may be taken at two feet : though to a spectator on the floor, from the effect of the perspective, they appear to diminish very much towards the vertex. This monument has a second chamber (Fig. 72, i. K^, to which you enter on the right from the larger one just described. This is about twenty-seven feet by twenty, and nineteen feet high ; but its waDs. from the obstruction of the earth, are not visible. The doorway to it (Fig. 72, 2, G) is nine and a half feet high, four feet se%-en inches wide at the base, and four feet three inches at the top. Similar to the larger or principal doorway, it has a triangular opening on its lintel. The stones which fitted into these triangular openings were of aionnous dimensions ; for the height of that over the principal entrance is twelve feet, and its breadth seven feet eight inches. The great vault has been ether lined with metal, or ornamented with some sort of decorations, in- asmuch as a number of bronze nails are found fixed in the stones up to the summit. The lintel of the door consists of two pieces of stone (Fig. 72, 2, F), the largest whereof (the inner one) is twenty-seven feet long, seventeen feet wide, and three feet nine indies thick ; calcu- lated, therefore, at one hundred and thirty-three tons weight, — a mass which can be compared with none e%-er used in building, except those at Balbec and in Egypt. The other lintel is of the same height, and probably (its ends are hidden) of the same length, as the first. Its breadth, however, is only one foot. Its exterior has two parallel mouldings, which are con- tmued down the joints of the doorway. The stone employed is of the hard and beautiful breccia, of which the neighboring rocks and the contiguous Mount Eubora consist. It is the hardest and compactest breccia which Greece produces, resembling the antique marble called


History of Art.

is a circular subterranean apartment, about forty-eight feet in diameter, and as many in height, the stones of which the walls are built being placed in such a manner that the section shows the form of a pointed arch. A cubical apartment hewn out of the rock (Fig. 72), and possibly intended for a burial-vault, is attached to the north side ; while in the larger apartment the rich treasures of the ruling family were perhaps preserved. The lower parts of this room appear to have been covered with metal plates. If we connect with this the descriptions of the royal palaces in which Homer loves to indulge, where the walls, thresholds, doors, and pillars glittered with brass and precious metals, the resemblance to the customs and art of Asia Minor becomes still more evident. The peculiar remains of architect- ural decoration also, and the fragments of two half-columns found near the entrance to the treasury, would likewise seem.

Fig. 73. Details from the Treasure-House of Atreus.

from the weak form of their members and their want of sharp- ness, as well as from the playful character of their ornamenta- tion, to betray an Oriental influence (Fig. 73). The spiral and undulatory decoration of these fragments at once reminds us of

Breccia Tracagnina antica, sometimes found among the ruins of Rome. Near the gate lie some masses of rosso antico decorated with guilloche-like and zigzag ornaments, and a colum- nar base of a Persian character. Some have supposed that these belonged to the decoratioiis of the doorway; but we are of a different opinion, inasmuch as they destroy its grand char- acter. We think, if this were the tomb of Agamemnon, they were much more likely to have been a part of the shrine in which the body or ashes were deposited." — CyclopcBciia of Archi- tecture, Joseph Gwilt, London, pp. 13, 14. Compare also Fergusson, Hand-Book of Architecture, vol. i. )). 257. J

Greek Arf ; Doriayi and Ionian. 129

the ornaments on the earliest bronze vessels which we found among the Celtic races (cf. Figs. 8, 9).

At what period this peculiar mode of art was developed in Greece can scarcely be accurately determined. Possibly it was at its prime towards the close of the twelfth century before Christ; for, with tolerable certainty, the end of the earlier period of civilization may be dated about the year 1000. About this time that remarkable revolution occurred, which completely overturned all the relations of Greece, and laid the foundation of that pure and beautiful art which henceforth we designate as the Greek. The impetus to this revolution was given by the powerful race of the Dorians, who broke over Hellas from the northern mountains, conquered the Peloponnesus, and founded a Doric confederation there. The lonians, likewise, are distin- guished among the Greek races for a high degree of culture ; and it is the contrast between these two races, so radically di- verse, though dwelling on a common national soil, that gives to Greek life its wonderful depth, its richness, and its perfection of form. In opposition to the reserved, self-dependent Dorians, fond of war, and tenaciously adhering to tradition in laws and customs, we find the versatile lonians, a people of many gifts, endowed with a marked susceptibility to impressions of every kind. In eager emulation these two races developed their peculiar natures, extended their influence and power, and, by means of their numerous colonies, spread Greek culture over Asia Minor and the islands, over Southern Italy (Grascia Magna) and Sicily.. Even on the distant shores of Southern France a Greek colony arose at the beginning of this epoch in Massilia (the Marseilles of the present day). It is in this very difference, in this double nature of Greek life, that the contrast to the East consists ; and still more strong does this contrast appear, when, in the course of the development of the Greeks, we perceive the inexhaustible depth and power of their pro- gressive civilization. It is obvious that all this was only pos- sible on the soil of a free State ; and in this respect it was the

1 30 History of Art.

republican constitutions of Greece, differently organized as ihey were in the different races, either tending to fixed aristocratic permanence as in the Dorians, or to decided democratic pro- gress as in the Ionic Athenians, — it was these free constitu- tions which formed a basis for the high mental development of the Hellenes, and which, in the golden time of their prosperity, came forth victorious as the higher principle from the struggle with Asiatic despotism.

Wc proffer these suggestions as a mere sketch for the rich picture of artistic progress which we are now about to unroll ; for to enter more deeply into the wealth and abundance of Greek art would demand, not a chapter, but a volume.


While among the nations of the East, ruled as they were by despots, the art of architecture was chiefly displayed in the palaces of the kings; while even in Pelasgic times, among the ancestors of the Greeks, so far, at least, as we can gather from Homer's descriptions and from the existing remains, it found its principal employment in erecting the royal castles, — with the founding of' the Greek republics such purely personal service was no longer called for, and the highest ideas alone, the in- terests of the whole body politic, were considered as having a right to artistic embodiment. Hence, in the temple alone, the art of architecture found a field for its development ; and other public Iniildings, serving the general good, borrowed their artis- tic character from the temple structure. In the palmy days of Greece, no care was bestowed upon the design and decoration of private dwellings.

The temple rose upon a substructure of several steps (stylo- bate) in a sacred court, surrounded by high walls. It was

' See C. Botticher, Die Tektonick der Ilellenen. 2 vols Potsdam, 1S44. [See also Viollet-le-I'ur. Entretien^ siir 1' Architecture, vol. i.]

Greek Architecture. — fcDiple- Plans.


strongly enclosed and distinctly organized as a plastic work. While the Oriental nations sought to give expression to their vague yearnings after the sublime in the massive character and bewildering size of their buildings, the Greeks attained the impression of dignity and solemn elevation by moderate extent, simple purity, and harmonious proportion of the parts. While in the one we are constantly reminded of the expression of dumb, slavish feeling, of lifeless formulas, and of a comfort- less religion, in the other we find the lofty grace of an unfet- tered mind, the conscious feeling of human dignity, and the cheerful sense of a noble worship, expressed in the entire form of their glorious marble temples. The ground-plan (Fig. 74)

Fig. 74. Ground-Plan of tlie Temple of 'Vheseus at .Athens.

is, with few variations, always the same, — a simple, plain, and well-arranged design. The building is a rectangle, about twice as long as it is wide, with a colonnade all round, or at all events on the narrow side (fronting the east), where the entrance is ; and over this the gabled marble roof rests on a simply-con- structed and richly-ornamented entablature.

Two different species of temple may be pointed out, which, while in general retaining this primitive form, varied according to the purpose for which they were designed.' The true temples

1 We have to remark, however, that this theory meets with considerable opposition. Even if there was such a distinction as Botticher claims between cultus and agonal temples, he certainly shoots beyond the mark in his assertion that the latter had no religious, no conse- crated character.

132 History of Art.

for worship enclosed the sacred image of the god, and were only- regarded as his place of abode. In front of the entrance was the altar of burnt-offering, on which sacrifices were offered to the god in the presence of the assembled people, the doors of the temple remaining open ; while only those who desired to place offerings on the small altar within, or who brought votive gifts to the temple, could enter the temple itself. Before this could be done, however, it was necessary to be sprinkled with holy water from the vessel in the forecourt. The other species of temple was the agonal (/lyMv, an assembly met to see games), which contained a splendid image of the god, and within which, probably, took place the coronation of the victor in the public games which were consecrated to the god of that particular temple. As a moderate space sufificed for either of these pur- poses, moderate dimensions were established for the ground- plan. This plan consisted of a forecourt (pronaos), a cella (naos), with a court in the rear (posticum), to which, occa- sionally, the opisthodome was added for special use. When, however, a more spacious building was necessary, two rows of columns were placed in the interior, supporting an upper gallery with another row of columns above (Fig. 75). The central space was left without a roof, in order to supply the temple with light; so that this portion of the building was open to the sky. Such temples were called hypaethral temples. The temples were described according to the character of the ex- ternal colonnade. A temple surrounded on all four sides by pillars was called peripteral ; one having a portico only at the front was called prostyle ; one with a portico both at the front and the back was called amphiprostyle ; and one, the portico of which was formed with pillars between the projecting side-walls (antae) of the building, was called a temple i>i antis. If there were two complete colonnades surrounding the whole building, it was called dipteral ; if the inner of the two rows is omitted, so that the outer row stands at double the usual distance from the side-walls of the cella, we have what is called pseudo-dip-

Analysis of ike Greek Temple.


teral (false dipteral) ; if, instead of a colonnade of independent pillars, there are only half-columns against the side-walls of the cella, the building is called pseudo-peripteral. The colonnade, which, to a greater or less extent, surrounded the building, served several purposes : it acted as a support to the roof of the portico, it gave room, and it afforded access. By the base, the foot, the independent existence of the separate columns was indicated:' the shaft with its numerous channelled flutings springing erect, first with an elastic swelling of its circumference, and then strongly contracting, expressed in the most lively manner no

!• It;.

bection of the Great Temple at Jfa;stiim.

mere passive endurance, but an energetic, active support. The capital, or head of the column, showed vividly the conflict between support and burden. Above the capitals the mighty blocks of the architrave (epistyle), stretching from the centre of one column to that of the next, united them with its broad band, on which rested the frieze with its sculptured designs. Above this, again, projected the wide-shadowing plinth of the main cornice ; and over all were laid the stone beams of the

[1 Yet in the Doric, the Greek style par excellence, the pillars have no separate bases. They rest directly upon the platform, which, from the fact of its serving as a common base to the whole colonnade, is called the stylobate. The entasis too, of which the author speaks farther on, was one of those refinements in the Greek architecture which were meant to be rather felt than seen : it was, in fact, so slight, amounting in the columns of the Parthenon to only -g^ of the whole height, that it can hardly be detected by the eye in ordinary positions.]

134 History of Art.

roof, the spaces between the beams being filled in with thinner slabs of stone. At the ends of the oblong building, and bor- dered by a moulded member, the profile of which repeated those of the cornice and roof-gutter, there rose the pediment, or gable, with its groups of statues filling the triangular space ; and, lastly, on the front edge of the pediment there stood small pedestals supporting small sculptured figures, or an ornament of conventional design, representing a palm-leaf ; ' while along the cornice on the sides of the building, and immediately under the gutter, lions' heads, placed at intervals, ejected the rain- water from their mouths (Fig. 88). The cornice above was crowned with palm-shaped tiles (Fig. 80). In all the noblest works, the covering of the roof, like the rest of the building, was executed in marble, and a graceful ornament ran along its ridge. What distinguishes this Greek stone construction from that of all the other peoples we have been considering is the thor- oughly scientific disposition of the different members, of the roof, and of the pediment." Hut Greek architecture did not rest satisfied with this superiority in construction alone. For the first time were devised a series of art-forms, which fully, and with the utmost precision, indicated the nature and con- structive value of the several parts, which, in their combination, form such a network of the most varied relations, that here, in truth, contents and form so thoroughly complement each other as to produce a perfect' artistic organism. So rich, however, was the -genius of this incomparable people, that, in their architectural forms, there appear two conceptions thoroughly independent of each other, though resting on a common basis, which, known as the Doric and Ionic styles, correspond most

[1 The ornament called palm-leaf (palmette) by Liibke is commonly called with us honey- suckle. It can be seen in Fig. 80, crowning tlis edge of the cornice, 'rhe pedestals, with their sculptures placed upon the pediment, are called acrotcria, from their position on the angles.]

[2 For a singularly clear and beautiful illustration, the reader is referred to Plate 2 of the Atlas of Illustrations accompanying the Entretiens sur I'Architecture of Viollet-le-Duc. The subject is ably discussed in the second of the Entretiens, vol. i. pp. 43-68.]

The Do7'ic Style.


closely with the character of these two principal races. As, however, in Attica, the Ionic and Doric elements of civilization are harmoniously intermingled, in like manner Ionic architect- ure acquires a special modification in the Attic-Ionic style ; and, lastly, the Corinthian style appears as an after-fruit of graceful luxuriance.

Passing on to the examination of this rich artistic life, we must begin with the Doric style (Fig. "J^).

Perfect coherence, and simple, clear

logicalness, characterize the Doric build- ing in its construction and form.^ The

absolute sway, which, in the Greek state,

the general exercised over the particular,

requiring in political life the complete

subordination of the individual man to

the welfare of the whole community, is

obviously expressed in the form of the

columns. The Dorians give no foot to

each separate column : the upper plinth

of the stylobate serves as a common base

for the whole colonnade. In the shaft

we perceive in the strong swelling and

tapering of the form an embodiment of

aspiring and supporting power, as well

as in the flutings, which generally sur- round the stem in twenty (at times only

sixteen) slight grooves, divided each from

the other by a fine, sharp edge. Every

thing tells of an energetically striving and supporting power

concentrated inwards : there is nothing left of the round

surface. Short and strong, the shaft usually only reaches a

heia-ht of about five and a half times the diameter of its base ;

1 Consult P. F. Krell. Geschichte des Dorischen Styls (with an Atlas of twenty-four

plates). Stuttgart, 1S70.

Fig. 76. Doric Order. From

the Temple of Theseus in


136 History of Art.

and the interval between the pillars is, on an average, one and a half times the diameter. A groove, sometimes playfully multi- plied, is cut round the upper part of the shaft, just below the point at which the capital begins. Several strongly-cut rings connect the latter with the shaft, allowing the lower member of the capital, the so-called echinus, to rise with a first strongly- projecting, and then receding outline. The echinus is covered with a square plinth (abacus), which affords a sufficient base for the architrave, and completes the transition from the round, vertical, supporting form to the rectangular, horizontal, and re- posing. The architrave then follows ; its face, in the earliest example,' being on a line with the columns at their highest point. It was composed of separate blocks of large size, termi- nated above by a rectangular moulding cut in the solid, and having the appearance of a thin projecting slab. On the under- side of the latter, over the centre of each column, and over the centre of the space between them, a small rectangular mould- ing, like a short block, is cut ; and from the under-side of these six little peg-like ornaments (guttae) seem to hang. These are intended to designate the places at which short rectangular blocks rise above the architrave to support the cornice : these blocks have two complete flutings on the flat surface, and two half-flutings at the angles, and are called triglyphs.'^ The spaces between the triglyphs are called the metopes : they were originally open, and were used as windows, but were sub-

[1 One of the six temples at Seliniis, in Sicily. Viollet-le-Duc (Troisifeme Entretien, p. 84) gives three profiles, — of this temple, of the Parthenon, and of that of Ceres at Eleusis, showing how the position of the architrave changed with the course of time.]

[2 Triglyph means literally "three-grooved;" but, unless the half-grooves at the angles were counted as one, there were in reality four grooves. The element "three," in the com- pound, refers, therefore, rather to the three flat divisions of the face of the block left between the four grooves than to the grooves themselves.]

[3 Openings to admit light to the upper part of the colonnade, perhaps, but not windows in the ordinary sense of the word, since no such use could be made of them. In Euripides there arc two passages which seem to imply that the wall of the cclla itself was constructed with metopes and triglyphs, like the entablature of the portico. In this case the vietopes might be properly called windows, and serve that purpose. One of these passages is in the Orestes, where the Phrygian, who has just witnessed the attempted murder of Helen, says that he

The Doric Style. 137

sequently always filled with stone slabs, which were generally ornamented with reliefs. These metopes and triglyphs form the frieze.

This fixed division of the frieze, and the strict relation of its different parts to the position of the pillars, gave to Doric archi- tecture its coherence in plan and construction. We at once perceive from the design that it 'was originally calculated for the simple primitive form of the temple, with its pillared front (antae) ; for, wherever peripteral buildings were erected, a diffi- culty must have arisen with the corner pillar, if the triglyph, according to rule, were to be placed on the centre of each pil- lar. Hence in this case it was moved close up to the angle (Fig. 'j6) ; and the inequality was made to appear less than it really was by diminishing the distance between the columns at the angles and those next them on either side. Above the frieze was the cornice, the highest member of the entablature. This projected considerably ; and from its under-surface small blocks, the so-called mutules, appeared to hang as if freely suspended. These were placed in rhythmical relation to the metopes and triglyphs, each of these members having a mutule over it (Fig. jG). On the lower surface of each mutule were carved certain ornaments similar in form to the guttae on the abacus-like movdding that crowned the architecture. These drops were arranged in three rows, six in each row. At the angles of the true cornice, a second cornice, identical with it in all respects, except that it wanted the mutules and their drops, rose obliquely, and enclosed the triangular gable, — the pedi- ment, or tympanum (Figs. ^6, 85). This triangular space was filled with slabs of stone, forming a background for the sculp- tured groups, from which it received a decoration correspond- ing with the intention of the building. Along the sides of the

escaped by climbing over the cedar beams of the bed, and by the Doric triglyphs. The other passage is in the Iphigenia in Tauris, where, Orestes and Pylades searching for a way by which to enter the Temple of Diana in order to steal the image of the goddess, Pylades tells his companion that there is an empty space between the triglyphs, by which he may let himself down.]


History of Art.

building, upon the cornice, was placed the gutter, made either of marble or terra-cotta, and having for its profile that graceful curve to which the name of cyma, or wave, was given. At intervals along the face of the gutter lions' heads were carved, from the mouths of which the rain-water was discharged clear of the wall. If to these features we add the antas (that is, the ends of the side-walls on either side the entrance to the cella, which, from being furnished with capitals, seemed to be related to the true columns, while from their rectilinear form

and narrow architrave with W^^ its painted band of orna-



Fig. 77. Ornament on the Capitals of the Antje- Pilasters of the Theseum, Athens.

ment (Fig. "Jl) they might be reckoned a part of the surrounding wall), we shall have enumerated the essen- tial elements of the Doric building.'

We have still, however, to add, that the effect of the sculp- tured ornament of the tem])le was essentially heightened by the employment of color, tlic so-called polychrome. While, in con- tradiction t(i the former belief that the Greek temple had no color-decoration at all, opinion has recently fallen into the other extreme in maintaining that the color-decoration extended to every part of the building, calm investigation has gradually arrived at the conviction, the result of a careful examination of the few traces of color still remaining on the monuments, that, in the marble temples, only the upper parts were painted; that the pillars, walls, and architrave sparkled in the unstained lustre of the brilliant marble ; that on the architrave there were, at

1 1 Books containing good illustrations of the Greek orders, particularly of the Doric order, are difTicult to find. Fergusson, usually so rich, is here poor indeed. Gwilt has scarcely any thing. An excellent book is Die Architektonisches, Ordnung der Gnichen und Romer, by I. M. V. Mauch. Berlin, 1875. The many engravings are accurate and clear. .An accessible illustration of the Doric order of the Parthenon is plate 2 of the Atlas to Viollet-le-Duc's En- tretiens sur I'Architecture. With this before him, as he reads, the student ought to find Piof. Liibke's description of the Doric order perfectly clear.]

The Ionic Style. 139

the most, only inscriptions in letters of gold, and gilded shields hung up as trophies of victory ; and that color was only bestowed upon the frieze and the cornice. Bright colors were employed, chiefly blue and red, the triglyphs being generally painted blue, the metopes and pediments of a rich brownish-red, contrasting effectively with their sculptures, which were also painted in parts. The abacus-like members were ornamented with a wind- ing pattern in color ; the curved mouldings were decorated with a leaf-ornament ; the ceiling of the portico had red-and-gold stars on a blue ground ; and rich gilding and painting adorned the ornaments of the roof.

The Ionic style is essentially different from the Doric both in its main forms and in its details. Its softer, weaker, and more womanly forms contrast with the strong, manly, and even austere forms of the Doric. That severe logic by which the principles of construction had become, as it were, hardened in the Doric system, gave way here to a freer and more animated treatment. The separate members enjoy a greater independ- ence, which is made manifest by an abundance of significant details ; and, instead of the severe Doric simplicity, we have the sweet but capricious play of the most graceful forms. Even in the column we readily perceive the essential point of difference between the Ionic and the Doric styles. The inde- pendence of the column is indicated by the fact that it stands upon a base of its own (Fig. 78). The circular members of this base rest, in the first place, upon a square plinth. The profile of these members shows two narrow flutings connected with each other, as well as with the plinth and the upper part, by finely-reeded mouldings. The upper part consists of a strongly- projecting moulding, from which the shaft rises with a slight contraction. The shaft is far more slender than that of the Doric order, being from eight and a half to nine and a half times its greatest diameter; and, in harmony with this, the in- terval between the columns is increased to two diameters, giving to the whole an appearance of greater lightness and


History of Art.






slenderness. The number of the flutings amounts to twenty- four. They are separated from each other by a narrow fillet, a portion of the periphery of the column ; not by a sharp edge, as in the Doric. At the same time they are hollowed deeper,

and are more nearly round : they also ter- minate both above and below in a circular form, leaving the top and bot- tom of the column un- fluted.

The most original part of thC' whole is the form of the capital. It is true, that, like the Doric, it has an echinus, only rounder in profile, and less projecting, charac- terized by the so-called egg -and- tongue orna- ment, and united to the shaft by a narrow band carved in beads. But over the echinus, instead of the simple abacus, a member, somewhat re- sembling a cushion, is placed, projecting on both sides, and ending in a spiral whorl with strongly-twisted volutes. The ribbed edges of these volutes curl round the hollowed surfaces of their flutings, and end in the centre with an eye, which is often ornamented with a rosette ; while, on each side, the angle between the volute and the cushion is filled up with a graceful ornament formed from


J Trim [T ff I' ill I

Fig. 78. Ionic Order. From the Temple of Pallas, Athene, at Priene (Caria).

TJie Ionic Style. 141

the flower of the honeysuckle. This description of the capital, however, applies only to the front and back : on the other two sides we see only the ends of the cushion-like member, which is wound around in the centre by a band, and allows the echinus, with its string of beads, to be seen below it. The capital is terminated above by a thin, square plinth, the edge of which has a curved profile, and is ornamented with a pattern of leaves. Any description of this capital, graceful and beautiful as it is original, must fail to do it justice; and it is especially in dealing with a design so remarkable as this that we discover how diffi- cult it is, by the mere reason alone, to hope to apprehend the creations of Greek art. As we have frequently met with the volute, the chief feature of the Ionic capital, in the art of Asia Minor, we shall not, perhaps, appear too venturesome if we find in it a motive common to the whole art of that country, but which, however, was only brought to perfection by the Attic Greeks, and received from them alone a worthy and ap- propriate application. It certainly cannot have been accidental that the Ionic Greek architecture should have found its complete development in the continent of Asia Minor; but in the lines of the capital, curving downwards, a passive yielding to the weight of the entablature is expressed, which distinguishes it in a marked manner from the strong Doric style.

An equal richness and variety meet us in the forms of all the other members. Thus the architrave exhibits nothing of the heavy, undivided massiveness of the Doric ; but, although con- sisting in its whole height of one single stone, it is so carved {Figs. 78, 79), as, when aided by the effect of shadow, to appear to be composed of three (or sometimes of two) layers, projecting one over the other. It is terminated at the top by a moulding ornamented with beads and foliage, which crowning member is added to indicate the complete independence of this part likewise. Still greater difference is seen in the frieze ; for. instead of the marked division by means of the triglyphs and metopes, we find a broad band of blocks of stone, often filled

142 History of Art.

with representations in relief of animals, to jndge by its name of zoophorus {life or figure hearer). Above it, the plinth of the cornice, as in the Doric order, projects, casting a strong- shadow ; but the Doric mutules are here changed into a series of cube-like blocks, the so-called dentils, placed at short inter- vals apart, having somewhat the same appearance of free sus- pension as the mutules. The pediment and the roof are, in the main, like the Doric, only the gutter has a waving outline, — that curve which is technically termed the ogee (Fig. 78).

Having drawn attention to that difficulty in treating the angle- triglyph of- the frieze which makes itself felt as a weak point in the Doric system, we ought just as little to conceal the weak point in the ionic order. This appears in the form of the ca])ital : it is not fitted for every position, like the Doric capital, which is alike on all sides ; but it is only suited for the simple portico. In a peripteral design, — the colonnade sur- rounding the cella on all four sides, — the capital ot the corner pillar must, according to rule, turn its face to the tront; and therefore a side-view would present an insufferable dissonance with the capitals of the side. This was remedied, as far as possible, by the expedient of giving to the capital of the angle- column an additional face upon the side ; so that the volutes met at the angle in a strong projecting curve, not, perhaps, symmetrical with the other angles. From such ingenious ex- pedients we may consider it established, as regards both the Ionic and the Doric styles, that the peripteral form was not adopted until a more recent period.

In Attica, in consequence of the prevailing Doric influence, the Ionic style underwent a modification which has been appro- priately named the Attic (Fig. 79). In the first place, the base of the column is deprived of its particular plinth : to compen^ sate for this, however, the two flutings are reduced to a sin'gle one, which is united to the platform, or stylobate, the common support of all the columns, by means of a strong circular ovolo. Thus we may describe the Attic base as formed of a sharply-

The Attic- Ionic Style.



contracted fluting between two ovolos : yet in this limited space the principle of tapering shown in the shaft was expressed, as

it were, on a small scale ; ,-

for the lower ovolo pro- \

jected farther, and was > a6..\t jj'.. jj. j(j jtAx^ j jL JoIjuUxjljUu j:jjujtj;:iLuL^:L more strongly formed,

' nil \\ II. Ill II. Ill ]» UL \\\ HI 111 111 ill M 111 III III III 1,1 11, ,\ ,n ,1

than the upper one. The column was, in the main, the same as in the pure Ionic style, only it was less slender in its proportions. The capi- tal also expresses a more energetic life by the greater projection of its powerfully - formed vo- lutes. The entablature has the same main forms in the Attic buildings as in the Ionian, only the frieze appears con- siderably higher, and the cornice is without the dentated ornament, in- stead of which the pro- jecting plinth is strongly undercut along its whole length, so that the edge in front overhangs the crowning member of the frieze (cf. Fig. 79). In general, both the

. ^. • 1 ii T ■ i'h- 79- Attic-Ionic Style. From tlie Erectheiiini at Alliens.

Attic and the Ionic " '^ ^

styles display their more lively variety in an abundance of

terminating and crowning members, projecting in profiles of

144 History of Art.

various curves, and richly decorated with sculptured leaf-orna- ment. That in some Attic examples this ornamentation is found to be painted, instead of being carved, only proves a greater inclination to the Doric simplicity. The decorative fancy of the Ionic style is especially graceful as displayed on the antas and walls, which have generally a capital consisting of a plinth crowned by graceful mouldings, and below this display a broad border consisting of flowers and foliage. Both in Ionic and Attic works, as the employment of sculptured dec- oration increased, colored ornament seems to have declined.

Lastly, we have to mention the Corinthian order, which, how- ever, cannot be regarded as an independent style, like the Doric and Ionic, but is only to be considered as a playful combination of both, introduced at a later period. While the main features of the building, as a whole, were borrowed from the Ionic style, a new and original form was devised for the capital ; and it seems a significant fact, that the sculptor Callimachus was said to have invented it, since we may infer from this attribu- tion that the capital was regarded as having been created by artistic reflection that did not shrink from freer and more novel combinations. Yet there were Corinthian capitals before the time of Callimachus ; and therefore we must interpret the story of his authorship as meaning that it was he who gave to the capital its final perfection. The general characteristic of this capital is the slender cup-like form of the whole. It is deco- rated with several rows of leaves, placed upright, and curved outwardly, with the points slightly curled over. The elegant, richly-articulated, and finely-dentated leaf of the acanthus is generally employed ; yet more simple reed-like leaves are also used. \

The further development of this form soon led, however, to a richer composition. The lower part of the capital is formed also here by two rows of eight acanthu.s-leaves, rising one above the other. From these, on each of the four sides of the capital, rise two double but unequal branches. The inner, smaller ones

The Corinthiaji Style.


curl together towards the centre, where they meet in spiral whorls, and support a palm-like flower : the outer and stronger branches, on the contrary, rise towards the upper angle, sup- porting the plinth of the abacus, the sides of which are not straight, but retreat in a _ _ _

Z^ ^^ ^^' '■

strong curve, with sharp- ly-projecting angles upon their curved ends (cf. Fig. 80). By these corner vo- lutes, the transition from the round to the square form is effected in a man- ner as spirited as it is sculpturesque ; and the capital, by this making all four sides of it alike, re- gains those more sreneral

advantages which distin- guish the Doric, but which are wanting in the Ionic column. The greater rich- ness of the design, the more realistic ornamentation re- sulting from the adoption of vegetable forms, united to its greater applicability to all the purposes of ar- chitecture, gave this style extraordinary popularity at a later period.

Fig. 80. Capital and Entablature from the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates at Athens.


The history of the gradual development of the architectural system of the Greeks, from insignificant beginnings to the

1 Cf. Denkm, der Kunst, plates 12, 13, 14, 14A, 15. Gailhabaud's Denkm. der Baukunst

146 History of Art.

perfect form in which we find it, must forever remain ob- scure. What stages must have been passed over before the pure and beautiful form of the Hellenic temple took the place of the primitive buildings of Pelasgian antiquity may be guessed, but can never be certainly known. So much is cer- tain from an expression in Pausanias, that, as early as 650 B.C., the two Greek styles, the Doric and Ionic, were practised side by side, and were held in equal estimation. Both in design and construction, even the oldest of the works still existing display a consistent maturity of system ; and it is only when the whole series of these monuments is considered that we perceive in the more delicate design of the separate members certain grada- tions, which may be taken as marks of the various stages of de- velopment.

The First Epoch

may be considered as extending from about the time of Solon to the Persian wars. Greece was still in all the vigor of early youth. The single states had developed themselves in strict independence, and rejoiced in that active development of their material and intellectual life which was especially displayed at Athens, under the rule of the Pisistratidae, by splendid artistic undertakings, by the cultivation of poetry, and by the care that was expended in collecting the works of Homer. The architect- ural remains of this period, though not considerable in number, are severe, archaic, and even clumsy. This was especially the case in the Doric works of Sicily and Lower Italy, where this ruder treatment prevailed for a still longer period, prolonging the epoch for about half a century, owing to local circumstances, and to the less delicate material employed. In Sicily itself there are extensive remains of more than twenty temples in the Doric style, many of them indicating works of colossal design.' The form of these temples is, almost without exception, the perip- teral, and this with a wider, almost pseudo-dipteral, placing of

1 Cf. Duca di Serradifalco, Le Antichita della Sicilia, 5 vols. Palermo, 1834. Hittorf et ^ Zanth, Architecture antique de la .Sicile. Folio. Paris.

Greek Architecture in Sicily. 147

the colonnade. The cella is long and narrow, and the pronaos is always of considerable size. The details of the building are heavy and rude in their proportions ; the pillars appear short, swelling rapidly, and then decidedly tapering ; the entablatures are massive and weighty ; the capitals have an unusual projec- tion ; ^ and the profile of the echinus is a strong and prominent curve. The material is a coarse-grained limestone, with a deli- cate stucco-covering over it ; and there are many traces of poly- chromatic decoration.

At Selinus (Selinuntum) there are the remains of six perip- teral temples in two groups of three ; the one group being in the town, the other on the acropolis. Of those in the former group, the most northerly, called the Temple of Jupiter, is -dis- tinguished by its mighty proportions, being one hundred and sixty-one feet broad by three hundred and sixty-seven feet long, with a peripteral colonnade having eight pillars at each end, and seventeen on each side." The central temple on the acropolis, though less in dimension, — being seventy-five feet broad by two hundred and five feet long, with six pillars by seventeen, there- fore of considerable length, — is rendered especially important by the extremely ancient reliefs on its metopes. The so-called Temple of Jupiter at Agrigentum presents an unusual ground- plan. Like its rival at Selinus, it is of considerable extent, — one hundred and sixty-four feet broad by three hundred and forty-five feet long ; but it is surrounded, as a pseudo-periptery, only with half-pillars, which are attached to the cella-wall ; be- sides which, it deviates remarkably from the ordinary rule by unequal arrangement of seven half-pillars in front to fourteen on the long side.'* Instead of detached columns, Atlantides of


[1 See Viollet-le-Duc, Entretiens, &c., vol. i. p. 47; and also in his Dictionnaire de 1' Archi- tecture, vol. ii. p. 482, art. Chapiteau.]

[2 In counting the columns, those at the angles are considered as belonging to the side that is being reckoned. Thus in Fig. 82 the Temple of Poseidon has fourteen columns on each side, and six at each end.]

[3 " The great temple at .\grigentum, where the architect attempted an order on so gigantic a scale as to be unable to construct the pillars with their architraves standing free. The inter-


History of Art.

colossal proportion and archaic rigidity support the roof in the interior. Beside these, there are preserved considerable re- mains of several other temples, which follow the peripteral arrangement with a somewhat corresponding treatment. Of

one of these, the so-called Temple of Castor and Pollux, which is distinguished for its noble proportions, a view is given in Fig. 8 1 . At Segesta (yEgesta), also, there is still standing the colonnade and gable of a stately peripteral temple, never wholly com pleted. The pillars have not yet been fluted ; and they must have been still unfin- ished at the time of the de- struction of the temple. To- wards the end of the fifth century, Greek civilization in Sicily suffered from the inroads of the conquering

Fis. 8.. Remains of Temple (of Castor and Pollux?) CarthagiuianS ; and WC kuOW at Agrigentuin. °

for certain that the two co- lossal Temples of Jupiter at Selinus and Agrigentum were not wholly completed at the period of the taking of the cities by the Punic armies, — the one in the year 409 B.C., and the other 405 B.C.

Related to the Sicilian monuments, we find the Temple of Poseidon at Paestum, in Lower Italy, one of the best preserved and finest remains of antiquity ' (Fig. 82). Moderate in dimen-

stices between the columns are therefore built up with walls pierced with windows ; and alto- gether the architecture is so bad, that eyen its colossal dimensions must have failed to render it at any time a pleasing or satisfactory work of art." — Fergusson : Hand-Book, vol. i. p. 277.] 1 Cf. Delaj,'ardette, Les Riiines de Paestum. Folio. Paris, 1799.

Greek Ai'diitectiirc in Lower Italy


sions, being eighty-one feet broad by one hundred and ninety- three feet long, the building rises in solemn solitude on the site of the formerly flourishing city of Posidonia (the city of Poseidon). Probably belonging to the same period as the above-named Sicilian temples, it has an unusually clear and normal ground-plan, a peripteral colonnade of six columns by


Fig. 82. GnRuid-I^l.iii of the Temple of Poseidon at Pjestum.

fourteen, and a long cella with pronaos and posticum. That which, however, makes this temple of the utmost importance for the understanding of the ancient Hellenic architecture, is the happy circumstance of the complete preservation of the whole interior colonnade, which supported the roof, and marked the hypaethral plan. Two rows of seven columns divide the cella into a broad central nave and two narrow side-aisles. The former was without a roof, on the hypaethral plan ; and the upper columns of the galleries, which were to support the outer wings of the roofs, are still to be seen (cf. Fig. 83). The two flights of steps also, by which the gallery was reached, are still existing.

The remains in Greece itself are of less importance ; although here, also, there was no lack of important architectural under- takings at that time. Thus, in the time of the Pisistratidae, the shrine of Apollo at Delphi was splendidly restored, after the earlier temple had been destroyed by fire ; and, even under Pisistratus, the Temple of Jupiter at Athens was restored, though its completion was not effected till the time of the Roman emperors. This temple was dipteral in structure, and


History of Art.

of considerable dimensions, being one hundred and seventy-one feet broad by three hundred and fifty-four feet long. At the same period, the earlier Parthenon on the acropolis at Athens was also erected, the subsequent destruction of which by the Persians led to its brilliant restoration under Pericles. The only temple-remains of this period preserved on Greek soil

Fig. 83. View of the Interior of tlie Temple of Poseidon at Pa;stinn.

are those at Corinth, consisting of seven Doric pillars of heavy proportions, probably the ruins of a shrine of Pallas : the building was executed in limestone, with an excellent stucco coating over it.

Still fewer remains of that early period are found in Asia Minor and the adjacent islands ; the temples having been partly destroyed by earthquakes, and partly covered over by subsequent erections. Yet we know of considerable architectural works constructed here after the middle of the sixth century ; among others the famous Temple of Hera at Samos, a work executed

Temple of Diana at Ephesus.


by the masters Rhoecus and Theodorus, in the ruins of which the base of a column has been found displaying the most primi- tive form of the Ionic style ; and, above all, that famous wonder of the ancient world, the marble Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, a dipteral building of colossal dimensions, two hundred and twenty -five feet broad by four hundred and twenty-five feet long, subsequently destroyed by the madness of Herostratus, and again rebuilt by the architects of Alexander the Great. Its columns were sixty feet high, and each architrave beam about thirty feet long; so that especial precaution and care must have been necessary in conveying the mighty blocks of

eiiiiiiiiiiiiniiiiiisiiiiiisiiiiiis nmoiiisiisiiiiisiiJiiisniisiis

11 11 ^m^^^mmm^m^a^^^^^^^m S H

m s Si m

m m



• •


m a

! m d 1 s

5ss siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiisiisiiiisn sn issiiiiiiiiffisiiiaiiisiiiiii ns

Fig. 84. Plan of the Temple of Diana at Ephesus.

marble to the place assigned them.^ Lately, through the exca- vations undertaken by Mr. Wood, the foundations of the temple, together with considerable remains of the colossal marble colon- nade, have been brought to light. These last establish in a convincing manner the often-doubted assertion, that a certain number (thirty-six) of the columns were ornamented on the shaft with sculpture, which, in one case, was executed by the

1 According to later statements, the ground-plan of the temple differs essentially from what was at first supposed, having twenty instead of eighteen columns on the long side. But, as this fact is also not yet absolutely established, I allow the earlier plan to remain for the present as a type of a dipteral temple.

152 History oj Art.

hand of Scopas.' Among the most remarkable remains of very ancient art we must reckon the ruins of the Temple of Assos, in the Province of Troas, on the coast of Asia Minor. Here stood a Doric temple, broad and heavy in form, with compact pillars and projecting capitals, executed in common black calcareous tufa. No trace has been found of a frieze : the architrave, on the other hand, is covered with sculptures of a l^rimitive style, showing affinity with the East.

The Second Epoch

extends from about the period of the Persian wars to that of the Macedonian supremacy (about 470-338 B.C.). The national uprising, by which Greece repelled the overpowering numbers of the Asiatic barbarians, and victoriously defended her endan- gered liberty, gave impetus in various directions to her national life, and raised Athens especially — which, like her protecting tutelar goddess Pallas Athene, had become the leader of Hel- lenic culture — to the height of the richest and most wonderful civihzation that the world has ever seen. It is true, that in consequence of the Peloponnesian war, which arose from the jealous differences between Sparta and Athens, the incomparable harmony of Greek life was marred by discords : yet the greatness of Hellenic life long continued in its beauty, although no longer in noble dignity, but often clouded by passions ; and it was architecture peculiarly, which, in this epoch, freed itself from the last vestiges of its rude, heavy, archaic tendency, and in noble grace and splendid purity created its most marvellous works.

Henceforth in Greece proper, especially in Athens and the region allied with it, is found the starting-point of the progress of the whole culture of the time, and consequently of architect- ural creations.^ The transition from the earlier, severer style

[1 Discoveries at Ephesus, including tlie Site and Remains of the (ireat Temple of Diana. Hy I. T. Wood, F.S.A. London, iS;;-!

2 J. Stuart and N. Kevett, The .Antiquities of Athens, 5 vols. London, 1762. The Unedited Antiquities of .Attica, by the Society of Dilettanti. Folio. London.

Temple at y^Egiua. — Temple of Theseus. 153

is best shown in the temple at rEgina, wiiich seems to have been built immediately after the Persian wars, in honor of Pallas Athene. It is a peripteral "building in the Doric style, with the inner rows of columns that belong to an hypocthral structure, and with those famous groups of statues in the pediments which are of such high importance in the history of sculpture. While this work is built of inferior material, — sandstone with a coating of stucco, only the roof and sculptures being formed of marble, — in the architectural works that follow,

^^^r^^~^~=zr<^=^::^ ui^Lilinc J

Fig. S5. View of ihe Temple of Theseus.

the most excellent material of white marble is combined with noble and harmonious form, fostering and making possible the highest perfection. Thus we find the Temple of The- seus at Athens, erected under Cimon, and one of the noblest works of Attic-Doric art (Fig. 85). Moderate in dimensions, forty-five feet broad by one hundred and four feet long, it has a peripteral colonnade of six pillars by thirteen. The forms here breathe forth the purest harmony, the noblest softness and grace ; the columns are slenderer and farther apart than

154 History of Art.

those of the Sicilian buildings (see the plan, Fig. 74) ; the echinus of the capitals exhibits a full, moderately-projecting profile ; and the other members of the upper part of the building harmonize with these proportions in delicate rhythmic feeling. Added to all this, the building, which was built of Pentelic marble, is in excellent preservation, and contains some superior sculpture, consisting of a representation in relief on the pronaos, besides the reliefs in the metopes of the facade. Nearly contemporaneous with this beautiful monument of art are two works of very small dimensions, exhibiting to us the Ionic style as conceived by the Athenians, executed, beside, in a manner thoroughly plain and unassuming. One of these is the now ruined Temple of Ilissus : the other, probably of a somewhat later date, is the Temple of Nike Apteros (the wingless goddess of victory),' erected at the entrance to the Acropolis. Both exhibit a small cella with a prostyle of four pillars as a portico, and an opisthodome.

The most magnificent structure arose, a little later, while Pericles had the direction of public affairs, and Athens pos- sessed undisputed headship both political and intellectual. Of those shrines of the Acropolis destroyed by the Persians, the Parthenon was the first, the splendid restoration of which was accomplished, after sixteen years of labor, in the year 438. This magnificent temple to the goddess of the city was erected by the masters Ictinus and Callicrates, and was adorned by Phidias and his pupils with rich and splendid sculptures. It was Phidias, also, who at the same time created the colossal chryselephantine image of the goddess for her temple (a core of wood covered with plates of gold and ivory). The plan of the building, now only existing in two ruined portions, was that of an hypaethral periptery of considerable dimensions, one hun- dred and one feet broad by two hundred and twenty-seven feet long, with eight pillars at each end, and seventeen on each side. The columns are thirty-four feet in height, and six feet

[' Wingless, to express the hope that victory might never desert Athens.]

TJie PartJienon at AtJiens.


in diameter at their base. The Doric style here reaches a still greater grace and lightness than even in the Temple of Theseus, and the whole treatment of the detail imparts a no less delicate and elastic vitality to the members. Cer- tain elements, such as the string of beads above the triglyph frieze,' seem like a remi- niscence of Ionic fancy. Passing through the pronaos, a cella was reached sixty-three feet broad by ninety-eight feet long, divided into three naves by two rows of pillars ; and above these, undoubtedly, as in the temple at Paestum, there was a gallery with a second row of columns. Attached to the back of the cella, accessible from the posticum, there was a special opisthodome, in which, probably, the state treasures were preserved. The rich sculptured or- nament of the splendid building bears witness at the same time to its importance as a festive temple of the goddess. Con- tests of giants, centaurs, and similar mythi- cal scenes, filled the metopes ; grand groups of statues in both pediments depicted the birth of Athene and her contest with Po- seidon ; and lastly, within the peristyle, an unbroken frieze of masterly reliefs ex- tended round the cella, representing the great ceremonial procession at the Pana- thenaic festival. This temple, transformed into a church to the Virgin, had defied the storms of time in indestructible beauty, until in the seventeenth century (1687), in a war be- tween the Venetians and the Turks, the Venetians, under Count Konigsmark, threw a bomb upon the marble roof of the Par- thenon, bursting the wondrous structure into two ruined halves.

[1 Does the author refer to the dentils of the cornice with their guttse ?]

I'i?. 86. From the Partlienon.


History of Art.

No less famous was the magnificent gate of the Propylsea, which was also erected under Pericles, by the architect Mnesi- cles, at the west entrance to the Acropolis, between the years 436 and 431 B.C. Built with equal grace and equal nobleness of proportion, it displays at the same time the Doric and Ionic style harmoniously combined. The gate, which has a breadth of fifty-eight feet, is designed as a porch of considerable depth, to which admission is given by five openings between six Doric columns (Fig. 87, B). Within is a deep court, divided into three naves, by six pillars placed in pairs (Fig, 87, C C), from which

we pass h\ five doors (one princi})a] and four subordinate) into a smaller court, a kind of posticum, corre- sponding with that in front, and opening like it by a colonnade of six strong Doric pillars (Fig. 87, D). Upon both these colonnades a complete Doric en- tablature with a mar- ble pediment is ])laced.

Fig. 87. Ground-Plan of the Propylaja. The Entrance to the ^

Acropolis of Athens. ThuS thc tomiS Ot the

A Temple of Nike Apteros. B B B, the gateway, with its ^^.^^ |^. .strUCtUrC are SIX Doric columns. C C, the court, with its six Ionic columns. ^

D, the posticum, with its six Doric columns. E E, the winjj- hcrC ai^plicd ' but at buildings.

the same time they are modified to suit the especial object of the building. Thus, two metopes were placed over the space between the central columns, because the considerable width of the central gate required it. Attached to each side of the porch, as project- ing wings, there were smaller buildings (Fig. 87, P2 E), open- ing by Doric colonnades into the enclosed central court, but presenting their closed side-walls at both angles to any approach

The Prop\'l(ca. — 'flic Hi'ccthciniii. 157

from without. Thus in this building" the idea of fortress-like defence, as well as of festive welcome, was equally expressed. Especially admirable, however, was the rich ceiling of the great three-naved court, both on account of the bold span of its beams, and the magnificent decoration of the spaces between them (the modillions), which were brilliant with gold and colors. The Ionic form of the columns in the interior also corresponded with this festive cheerful character ; while the two rows of col- umns on the outside, together with the rest of the exterior of the building, exhibited the seriousness and dignity of the Doric style.

On the other hand, we find the perfect grace and lofty splen- dor of the Attic-Ionic style in the third magnificent building of the Acropolis, the temple for the true worship of Athene, the so-called Erechtheium.^ This building comprised many differ- ent shrines in several connected courts, and contained not merely the sacred image of the goddess, the tombs of the old heroes of the land, the shrine of the nymph Pandrosus and of Cecrops, but also a number of highly-venerated tokens of divinity. This temple also had been destroyed by the Persians : but, after the death of Pericles, its rebuilding was commenced ; and recently-discovered inscriptions testify that it was not wholly completed in the year 409 B.C. The problem of meet- ing the manifold demands prescribed by the religious ceremo- nial is here perfectly solved (Fig. 88). The main building- extends in moderate dimensions (thirty-seven feet broad by seventy-three feet long) from east to west, terminating in the east with a splendid porch furnished with six Ionic pillars, and in the west with a wall, the upper part of which was marked by an upper story, having six half-pillars, with windows between them. Even this part of the design was opposed to the regular ground-plan of the Greek temple. But on the north side of the western half of the temple there was a stately and unusually

1 Cf. Inwood, The Erectheion at Athens. Folio. London, 1827. F. von Quast, Uas Erectheion zu Athen, &c. Berlin, 1840.


History of Art.

magnificent porch of six pillars, four of which stood in front and two at the sides of a hall of considerable depth, all the details here being much more rich and splendid than in the eastern porch. Passing through a great door, the elegant framework and corona of which is still in preserv^ation, the


Fig. 88. North-west View of the Krectlieium.

western part of the main building was reached ; and, proceeding in a straight line, a second porch, smaller than the one on the north side, was arrived at. built in corresponding design on the south side. Not satisfied with the richness of fancy already displayed in the two first-named porticos, the architect here had recourse to the noble human form in the place of columns ; and

The Erect Jieiit7n. 159

six statues of Athenian maidens, the so-called Caryatides (Fig. Ill), placed upon the high parapet-wall, supported the elegant Ionic roof of the porch. In what manner all these various courts were used, and for what they were designed, is a matter of constant dispute among archaeologists, owing to the sad destruc- tion of the whole of the interior. The opinion generally re- ceived, with some degree of probability, is, that the eastern half of the main temple, separated by a wall from the western building, was the proper temple of Athene ; that a second par- tition-wall, with an open row of columns parallel with the first wall, extended from the north to the south porch ; and that, at all events, the Pandroseium lay in the western part. These investigations are rendered still more difficult by the fact that the building was erected on sloping ground, so that the eastern porch and the whole south side lie considerably higher than all the rest. Apart from these obscurities, however, the pure ar- tistic beauty of the work shines forth all the more clearly. The Attic-Ionic style here reaches a luxuriance and richness of dec- oration that carries it beyond its peculiar character of chaste elegance. Even the bases of the columns are richly varied from the usual design, and the ovolos are ornamented with horizontal fiutings and wicker-work in relief (see Fig. 79). A brilliant crescendo of the Ionic motive is displayed in the capitals, the cushion-like members being arranged in double rows, one above another, and rolled together in the richest spiral involution ; the sculptured echinus is enriched above with a band of wicker- work ; and the upper end of the shaft is carved with a rich band of flower and leaf ornament. The other parts are also decorated with similar magnificence, especially the capitals of the antae and the crowning mouldings of the walls.

In order to give an idea of the perfection with which the Greeks understood how to bring into one design an extensive group of buildings with the utmost artistic effect, we have in- serted a view of the Acropolis of Athens (Fig. 89). A broad winding road between two flights of steps leads up to the splen-


History of Art.

did gate of the Propylaea, the open colonnades of which rise between the side-walls of the two wings. On the right, boldly enthroned on the rocky declivity, stands the elegant Tcmplc-Qf^ Nike; while over the roof of the central building towers the brazen colossal statue of Athene, executed by Phidias. The festive temple of the goddess, the Parthenon, rises with its forest of pillars and its richly-sculptured pediment farther to

Fig. 89. The Acropolis of Athens, restored.

the right, above the walls of the fortification ; while in the back- ground to the left a part of the west front of the Erechtheium, with its northern portico, is visible. The whole forms an archi- tectural picture, exhibiting to us in every line the glory of Athens at this period of her grandeur.

In other places also, — for instance, in Attica and the north-

Greek Architecture. — The Third EpocJi. i6i

ern parts of the Peloponnesus, — the new and brilHant develop- ment in the art of architecture accomplished by Athens must have exercised a decided influence on the style of the time. Thus we know that Ictinus, the architect of the Parthenon, built the splendid Temple of Demeter at Eleusis, to which sub- sequently other magnificent buildings were added : the remains also of the Temple of Nemesis at Rhamnus, and the traces that have been discovered of the famous Temple of Jupiter at Olym- pia, all point to the influence of the Athenian school of archi- tecture. Further : we know that the Temple of Apollo at Bassae, near Phigalia in Arcadia, which is still partly preserved, and which was also distinguished for its sculptured friezes, was built after the design of Ictinus. This building displays a remarka- ble combination of the two styles, the exterior being executed in the noble Doric style of Attica ; while the two rows of col- umns in the interior, which support the roof of the hypa^thral building, follow the Ionic form.

The Third Epoch,

which lasts till the decline of Grecian liberty, shows architect- ure, it is true, still in varied activity, but no longer adhering to the chaste, harmonious proportions of the former age. Influ- enced by that loosening of the federal bonds which brought Greece under the dominion of the Macedonians, there arose a striving for attractive effect, and even for a certain pic^uancy in art ; and, owing to the various relations with Asia entered into by Alexander the Great, Oriental luxuriance and sensuality found their way into Hellenic culture. Architecture was now employed principally in designs for theatres (as in the cities of Asia Minor), in splendid palaces for the new capitals (as in Alexandria), and in the luxurious enlargement and adorning of private dwellings, which had been before simple and modest. It was especially employed m massive designs for grand com- plex works, and even for entire cities, in executing which, un- doubtedly, a general harmony of effect was aimed at. The Doric


History of Art.

style was almost wholly lost sight of, or was only preserved in ignoble, emasculated forms : on the other hand, the Corinthian style, with its magnificent decoration, must be regarded as the true child of this period.

The transition to this period is marked by the Temple of Athene Alea at Tegea, erected by the sculptor Scopas previous to the year 350 B.C., and famed among the ancients as the

largest and most splendid temple of the Peloponnesus. Its importance consisted in the fact that here the three orders of architecture were employed in one de- sign, all equally contributing to the gen- eral effect ; the peristyle being built in the Ionic order, while the lower row of columns in the interior belonged to the Doric, and the upper row to the Corin- thian style. Among other temj^les in Greece we must also mention the Doric Temple of Jupiter at Nemea in the Pelo- ponnesus, and the extensive additions which were made to the shrine of Eleu- sis, chiefly comprising an inner and outer propylaeum, the latter designed and executed in strict accordance with the central building of the famous Athe- nian Propylaea. In Athens itself there are especially some smaller monuments of another kind, in which the graceful elegance and decorative beauty of this later style are attractively exhibited. Foremost among these are some chora- gic monuments, — memorials erected by private persons in honor of a victory obtained by them in public musical contests. The motive of the design in these buildings was to obtain a support for the tripod, which had been received as the reward of


1 1

Fig. 90. Monument of Lysicrates.

Choraoic Monuments.


victory, and which, in the true Greek spirit, was to be placed in the public view as a consecrated gift. For this purpose, either a column was used, the capital of which supported the tripod, or a more extensive substructure was formed for it. The rich- est and most beautiful of these monuments is that of Lysicrates, erected in honor of a victory obtained in the year 334 B.C. (Fig. 90, and cf. Fig. 80). A slender circular building, surrounded by elegant Corinthian half-columns, rises on a square basement, terminating with a beauti- fully-sculptured frieze and rich cornice, and covered with a marble block five feet in diameter, carved into the form of a flattened dome. On the top of this monu- ment, which is thirty-four feet high, and built of pure Pentelic marble, there rises a rich marble stand, adorned with acanthus leaves and branches, like some marvel- lous flower with its broad corolla, destined to receive and support the tripod. More simple in its character is the Monument of Thra- syllus, erected in the year 320, a structure of elegant

pillars with an entablature, forming an entrance to a rocky cave, and bearing the tripod on its platform. Among these we may reckon lastly the so-called Tower of the Winds, or the Clock of Andronicus Cyrrhestes ; also known under the strange designation of the Lantern of Diogenes (Fig. 91). Exe- cuted like the others in marble, it is an octagonal, tower-like building, with two porticos on two sides, each supported by two

Fig. 91. The Lantern of Diogenes.


History of Art.

columns of simple Corinthian design, and with a semicircular apsis projecting from a third side. In the interior were con- tained the works for a water-clock, and on the outside we find engraved the lines of a dial-plate. On the pyramidal roof there rose, moreover, a revolving brazen Triton, which indicated the direction of the wind by pointing with his staff to one of the figures of the eight winds represented in high relief, one on the frieze of each side of the building. This interesting monu- ment is, at the same time, a good instance of the ingenuity and


P'in. 92. The so-called Tomb of riieron at Agrigeiitiini.

fancy by which the Greeks elevated into artistic beauty even the most utilitarian objects. An aqueduct belonging to it is curiously formed in arcades, each of which, however, is cut out of a single marble block. The true art of the keystone, and of the arch depending upon it, does not seem, according to all appearance, to have been known to the Greeks.

The western colonies of Greece have fewer remains to show of monuments belonging to this later period ; yet among the

Temples in Asia Minor


Sicilian works we may mention as the most important a re- markable tomb at Agrigentum, called, without reason, the Tomb of Theron ' (Fig. 92). Square in plan, and rising with a taper- ing profile, the small tower-like building is interesting from the mixture of different styles in its decoration ; the superstructure having Ionic half-columns at the angles, supporting a Doric entablature with a triglyph frieze. We may here also mention the so-called Temple of Demeter at Posstum, a peripteral build- ing of small dimensions, which, in the treatment of its details, gives evidence of a gradual decline in the true appreciation of the Doric forms. The same remark will apply to the so-called Basilica.-

A number of splendid monuments, most of them, unfortu-

Fig 93. Capital from the Apollo Temple at Miletus.

nately, however, in a deplorable state of decay from natural causes, are spread over Asia Minor.^ In these the Ionic style attains its utmost richness and magnificence. Thus there is, for instance, the Temple of Athene, at Priene in Caria, built by Pytheus about the year 340 B.C., and consecrated by Alexander the Great himself : it is a peripteral temple, with six columns at each end, and eleven on each side. It is sixty-four feet broad by a hundred and sixteen feet long, and is a peculiarly luxurious

[1 Theron, despot of Agrigentum, 481 B.C.]

[2 For a good account of the remains at Pjestum, see Bjedeker's Southern Italy, p. 150.] ^ Ionian Antiquities, by the Society of Dilettanti. 3 vols. Folio. London. Texier, Description de I'Asie Mineure, &c. 3 vols. Folio. Paris.

1 66 History of Art.

yet noble example of the Ionic style (cf. Fig. -]%). The most splendid work, however, of this group, is the famous Temple of the Didymaean Apollo at Miletus, a mighty hypaethral, dipteral building, with ten pillars at each end, and twenty-one on each side. It is a hundred and sixty-four feet broad, and three hun- dred and three feet long. Besides some remains of Ionic col- umns belonging to the peristyle, the ruins are preserved of the perfect Corinthian capital of one of the half-columns at the en- trance, as well as some capitals of remarkably beautiful form (Fig. 93), and a splendid sculptured frieze from the interior wall, representing a griffin witli a lyre, and beautiful leaf -ornamenta- tion. To this period also, lastly, belong the Temple of Bacchus at Teos, built by Hermogenes towards the end of the fourth century, — an Ionic peripteral temple, with eight pillars at the ends ; the magnificent Temple of Diana at Magnesia, built by the same master, a pseudo-dipteral, ninety-eight feet in breadth, and two hundred and sixteen feet in length ; the Temple of Venus at Aphrodisias, constructed on a similar plan, with eight jjillars by thirteen ; and, lastly, the Temple of Jupiter at Aizani, also a pseudo-dipteral, sixty-eight feet broad, and a hundred and fourteen feet long, with eight pillars by fifteen, which have ex- cessive slenderness of form, their height being equal to ten of their diameters. One of the most admired architectural works of this period is the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus,' the colossal tomb erected by Queen Artemisia to her husband Mausolus, who died 354 B.C., which combined, like the before-mentioned Nereid monument at Xanthus, the old Oriental tomb-design with the elegant forms of Greek art. Above a rectangular, almost square substructure, which contained the tomb, rose an Ionic peristyle temple, with nine pillars at each end and eleven on the sides, and decorated with a magnificent frieze. The roof formed, in true Oriental fashion, a terraced pyramid, the plat- form on the top of which was crowned with a colossal marble

1 C. T. Newton, A History of Discoveries at Halicarnassus, Cnidus, and Branchidae. London, 1862.

Greek Sculpture. 167

quadriga, in which was the statue of Mausolus. Considerable remains have been excavated of the rich sculptured ornaments of this building, in which the first masters of the age, such as Scopas and Leochares, emulated each other. The so-called Tombs of Absalom and Zacharias at Jerusalem, mentioned in our remarks upon Hebrew art, may be considered as imitations of the Mausoleum upon a reduced scale.


The imagination of the Greeks delighted in sculpture : the art, therefore, in which they took precedence of all other na- tions, and will ever take precedence, was the plastic art. The very character of their temple-architecture was thoroughly plas- tic ; and even in their painting we shall have to acknowledge the influence of sculpture. We find the deeper ground for this phe- nomenon lying in the natural endowment of the Greek charac- ter, which presents an unusual balance between mental and physical qualities. No flaw in these two agents engendered either reflection or sentimentality : harmoniously blended, reason and sentiment found in each other alternately their limitation, their check, and their support. In healthful exuberance and power, body and mind co-operated with each other. The equal nurture of all innate powers and capacities belongs to the idea of a free-born Greek ; and he only who had arrived at perfection in all artistic and gymnastic exercises obtained the honorable title of "noble and good." But never was any one allowed to develop his power either for his own personal enjoyment or for the adornment of his own existence : every man belonged wholly and entirely to the common public life, and individual power and talent was valued only in its relation to the state.

From these circumstances plastic art received its definite character. Where the individual in himself was of so little importance, where the reference to general and clearly-defined

1 68 History of Art.

aims governed every thing, artistic taste must have applied itself rather to the representation of outward events than to the de- picting of an inward mental condition. Where individual life in general receded behind the common interests of the state, plastic art must have devoted itself rather to the glorification of gods and heroes than of ordinary human beings, rather to the ideal events of legends than to the real doings of daily life. Even the historical life of the nation, when, like some fresh spring, it forced its way into the creations of art, was trans- formed or idealized into the spirit of myth or legend. As the moral and political ideas of different races, or the interests common to the country at large, were embodied in the forms of the gods, so did plastic art find in these its first and highest inducement to creative activity. Poetry had even preceded it in this, and, in the immortal verse of Homer, had first given fixed forms to the gods of Olympus and to the old legends of the Hellenic heroes. From this store of distinct and finished creations later dramatic poetry drew its riches ; and even the idealistic philosophy of a Plato may be traced to it. The nation looked upon these ideas and images as sacred, and only by reverential adherence to them could plastic art take pos- session ot the same material. Hence, in the whole history of Hellenic life, we find this adherence to tradition, this fostering of the transmitted type, which always remained the same at the core, and which progressive stages of development only endeavored to invest with a richer and more life-like veil.

Hence Greek art originated with the images of the gods. Homer had glorified the national conceptions in his verse, and had represented the gods in perfect human form, as acting and suffering, gracious or angry, endowed with all human passions. If the East had filled its mythology with gloomy and fearful legends and profound fantastic subtleties, and therefore could only portray the forms of the gods by monstrous deformity of the general idea, in the clear pure myths of the Greeks all misty immensity vanished, and man created the gods after his own

Greek Sculpture. 169

image. Although at all times whole stages of child-like help- lessness had to be passed through, in which man only succeeded in forming a puppet-like idol ; although, in the earliest Greek divinities, much of the monstrous creations of the East is still preserved, as in the hundred-breasted Diana of the Ephesians, or the four-armed Apollo of the Lacedaemonians, — still the clear Greek mind soon discovered the right way of investing its gods with the sublimity and beauty of the human form. This way was the observation and apprehension of nature. The expres- sive beauty of that Southern race assisted the instinct of the artificer by sharpening and practising the eye in the contem- plation of beauty. Still more favorable were the free habits of the Hellenes, which allowed the body an unfettered develop- ment ; the life of the free-born citizen prevented the stunted growth arising from sedentary occupation ; and, lastly, the exer- cises of the gymnasium, which early steeled the body, rendered it flexible, and allowed it to attain to an harmonious perfection. Thus the race itself became more beautiful, manly, and noble ; and at the same time these public gymnasiums afforded artists an abundance of the most beautiful images of youthful physical strength, dexterity, and grace.

But there was another circumstance, also, which accustomed the eye of the sculptor to beauty ; and this lay in the drapery, which clung to the body in such a noble, expressive manner, that every form and movement was marked by the rich fall of the folds. Simple and natural in style, the Greek dress con- sisted of a longer or shorter under-garment (the chiton), put on like a sleeveless shirt, and worn without a girdle, and a mantle- like upper-garment (the himation), which was only a large four- square, thrown over the shoulder of the left arm, and drawn either above or below the right arm. Hence the "cut" of the dress did not rest with the tailor, but every man arranged his own garment ; and the manner in which this was done betrayed the character and culture of the wearer.

While thus the life itself gave the artist every opportunity to

1 70 History of Art.

make the beautiful his own, and to steep in it all his ideas, and saturate them with it, the ideal origin of his art urged him to imbue it with importance. Only grand and universal character- istics could give to the figures of gods or heroes the stamp of power. All casual and arbitrary forms were therefore justly set aside, and attention was only given to the essential and standard type. As Greek art aimed not so much at a delinea- tion of the mental life as of bodily movement and attitudes, the importance of the body as a whole asserted itself rather than that of the countenance with its special expression of what- ever might be passing in the mind. Thus it was that Hellenic plastic art had long understood how to represent the human body both in repose and in violent action, while the head re- mained stiff and inanimate. But, even when it had reached the highest point of development, the art that was concerned with portraying physical beauty could not allow the harmony of any part of the work to be disturbed ; and in this spirit it fashioned the character of the head, never investing it with that superior and dominant life which bursts out when art aims at represent- ing the emotions of the mind and its moods and feelings.

Even in the heads of Hellenic statues, in the "Greek profile," this becomes evident. The varied human countenance appears reduced to one common type. In the whole form of the face one general character is decidedly expressed. The features follow each other with soft transitions ; yet each is clearly formed and finished, and no part comes prominently forward at the expense of another. The organs of understanding appear only in due proportion with those which express the faculty of sensuous enjoyment : the brow is, indeed, by nature, supe- rior to the parts around the mouth ; but this preponderance is not increased by an especially great development. Delicately arched, and rather low than high, rather narrow than broad, the brow passes, almost as if in continuation, into the marked and prominent nose, without any indentation in the profile, and so on into the lower parts of the face; thus expressing, in the

Greek Sculpture. 171

pregnant language of form, no contrast, but rather an harmo- nious combination of mind and sensuous feeling. The large, well-cut eye lies in its broad, deep socket, betraying both in position and direction a firm taking hold of reality. The cheek softly swells sidewards from its lower edge to the well-formed ear, and downwards to the chin, which projects with a strong curve, and, with the full but well-defined lips, exhibits energy and animal spirits. The whole is formed into a fine oval, and is rendered perfect by a similarly well-proportioned skull. The entire outline of the head is refined, slender, and rather high than broad. Slight deviations from this form suffice to inti- mate the various differences in the characters represented, and to express the powerful and the tender, the manly and the feminine, blooming youth, maturity, or old age. Here, too, Greek art keeps within the limits of general types of character, without striving after individual traits. It is satisfied with the expression of the highest sovereign will and sovereign mind in Zeus, with that of lofty womanly dignity in Hera, of heroic manly power in Hercules, of youthful beauty, either of a refined or luxurious character, in Apollo and Bacchus, of perfect grace in Aphrodite, of noble just wisdom in Pallas Athene, of maiden- like vigor in Artemis, of manly adroitness and cunning in Hermes, and other similar creations, in which the round of human characters and qualities are typically established in broad lineaments, and which serve as a general standard. Whatever lay beyond this passed also beyond the power of Hellenic perception ; and it would have been perfectly incom- patible with the Greek nature to represent individual character in the modern sense. It is true that portrait statues were fre- quent among the Greeks; but they were not intended to empha- size individual peculiarities, but to preserve the memory of the man in idealized features as that of an able and excellent being : that he was such was proved by the fact that the state had decreed such an honorary statue as a reward. And here, again, the idea was expressed, that the individual man, in the best days

I 7 2- History of Art.

of Greece, was in no case to be portrayed for himself, but was only an object for notice and representation in his relation to the community.

The fundamental object of Hellenic plastic art — namely, to embody only the idealized and generalized type — perhaps ap- pears nowhere so strikingly as in those representations which seem especially to demand a naturalistic treatment ; namely, those of animals. He who would ask what the kingdom of the "irrational creature" has to do with the ideal need only be re- ferred to the Greek sculptures. These teach us how the ancient sculptors, even in this apparently subordinate sphere, by a grand conception of the essential elements, and by the exclusion of all that is merely accidental, produced works, which, as it were, transport the laws of physical form into a higher medium, and thus make their animal creations fit to appear among the gods and heroes of the Greek Olympus.

But here, however, it resulted as a necessary consequence that the law of nature was everywhere obliged to yield when it came into opposition with the principle of ideal art. Hence the animals were, without hesitation, fashioned smaller than Nature dictates, when the composition of the artistic whole re- quired it, or when the subordinate importance of the animal was to be expressed ; thus, for instance, in the famous group of horse-tamers on the Monte Cavallo in Rome, and in the incom- parable frieze-reliefs of the Parthenon, and in many other places. Even fantastically-devised combinations of human and animal forms are treated in a manner utterly opposed to Oriental conceptions. Among the Greeks they are regarded only as subordinate creatures, while in the East they serve to express the highest divine beings : in this case the head and breast, as the nobler parts, are fashioned in human form, and the limbs of animals other than human are reserved for the lower organs.

In all this we readily perceive the great contrast which Hellenic plastic art presents to that of the East. Fantastic and naturalistic ideas appear side by side in the East, without

Greek Sculpture. — Materials used. 173

being blended together : the one we find in the embodiment of mythological conceptions ; the other in the chronicle-like repre- sentation of royal life with its ceremonial, or in that of historical events, or of every-day life. All this is, however, only super- ficially conceived, and amounts solely to accurate characteriza- tion and a faithful portrayal of events. Among the Greeks, where imagination and understanding harmoniously intermingle, the two extremes lose their one-sidedness, and blend into a noble ideal conception, equally removed from that fantastic art which thought to portray the divine by shapeless deformity, as from that homely prose which never looks below the surface of actual life, and never surmises a deeper meaning. And how could it have been otherwise, when in religious matters the Orientals knew only the tenets of a priestly dogmatism, and in political affairs the despotic rule of their kings, as subjects for plastic representation, while among the Greeks the forms of the gods were created as ideal embodiments of their innermost nature by the same free national mind which gave its own impress to their political life, and thus, in every artistic work it produced, celebrated its own glorification } Hence, therefore, the cheerful, calm self-content, the quiet grandeur and freedom, in which creations of Hellenic art stand before us.

By this idealism the application of the plastic art was also determined. Emanating from religious ideas, its seat of activity was especially in the temple. As the image of the god soon rose from the rude, puppet-like idol to the ideal form endowed with mind and life, the same transformation becomes apparent in the material ; the gaudily-painted, carved wooden image being supplanted by statues made of gold and ivory. These costly colossal works consist of a wooden figure, upon which gold plates are laid for the drapery, and ivory for the nude parts. Of another kind are the acroliths, wooden images covered with thin plates of gold ; the nude parts, the heads, arms, and feet, being formed of marble. Soon, however, the wood was com- pletely supplanted by the materials of white marble and

1 74 History of Art.

bronze : a relic of the old splendor of color and material re- mained behind in the polychromatic decoration of the statues.' To what amount this may have extended can be scarcely deter- mined with certainty : yet not merely the hem of the garments, but sometimes the whole attire, was colored ; and not merely weapons, diadems, and similar appendages were rendered con- spicuous by gilding, but even the hair was frequently gilded, and the pupil of the eye darkened. In the bronze statues, the hem of the garment was frequently adorned with ornaments of precious metal ; the white of the eye was formed of silver, and the pupil by dark precious stones.

Besides this, the temple claimed its plastic ornamentation, and in its various parts afforded abundant opportunity for sculpture. The pediment contained groups of statues, m the management of which the difficulties of the space were ingeniously overcome : the metopes in the Doric temples were adorned with bass-re- liefs ; and wherever, as in the Ionic building, continuous friezes presented themselves, they were used for larger connected com- positions in relief. While, in the buildings in the East, archi- tecture and sculpture intermingled without regard to limitation, in the Greek building the clear distribution of spaces in the structure itself allotted certain parts in which the sculptor could freely and independently insert his work in harmony with the whole organism : thus plastic art became independent of the sway of architectural authority ; yet at the same time it was restrained by the laws of the building it adorned, so that now for the first time it was able to develop its ideas in beautiful freedom, but without extravagance. The first law of this style was to represent the human body either in noble repose or in free activity, even to the expression of passionate emotion, and at the same time, by the rhythm of the masses and by a due

1 Cf. the paper by F. Kugler, Ueber die Polychromie der Grieschischen Architektur und Sculptur, reprinted with additions in the Kleinen Schriften zur Kunstgeschichte, vol. i. p. 265 et scq. Hittorf: Restitution dii Temple d'Empedocle a Selinonte. Paris, 1851. Semper: Der Stil. 2 vols. Frankfort-on-Main, i860.

Greek Sculpture. — Early Workmen. 175

regard to symmetry, to bring out successfully the harmony of the architectural organism. Thus every thing co-operated to produce that perfect beauty which arises from the blending of the freedom of individual life with the universal laws of art.

In what way this principle of Hellenic sculpture was gradually developed, and how it was modified in the different epochs, will better appear in our historical review.


As in architecture, so also in the sculpture of the Hellenes, a long course of development, covering centuries, is hidden from our knowledge. The scanty remains which exist afford us but an inadequate idea of the primitive attempts of the people ; yet even these must have been preceded by many stages. The Greeks themselves, in the historical period, knew but little more than we, and for them tradition clothed the birth and the growth of the plastic art in the poetic garment of legend. These legends tell us of the families of the Telchines and the Dactyli, undoubtedly companies of artisans, as their names imply ;^ that of the one pointing to the art of smelting metals,

1 Denkmaler der Kunst, plates i6, 17, 18, 18 A, 19. Cf. K. O. Miiller, Handbucb der Archa- ologie der Kunst, third edition, with additions by F. G. Welcl<er. Berlin, 1848. [This most valuable book is made easily accessible to English readers by the translation of John Leitch. It is published by B. Quaritch, London, with the title, Ancient Art and its Remains, or a Manual of the Archaeology of Art, by C. O. Miiller, 1852. With the German edition belongs the copious atlas by Miiller and C. Oesterley, Denkmaler der alten Kunst, 2 vols., finished by Wieseler. Thorough investigations into the history of Greek plastic art are contained in the first volume of the Geschiclite der Grieschischen Kiinstler, by H. Brunn, which also serves as a basis for the Geschichte der Grieschischen Plastik, by J. Overbeck, and for portions of Liibke's Geschichte der Plastik ; The History of Sculpture, by W. Liibke, translated by F. E. Bunnett, London, 1872.]

[- The Telchines, a name derived from TeA;^'?. supposed to be identical with Mulciber (the Softener), another name for Vulcan. The name Dactyli appears to be derived from the Greek cJarervAof, a finger. " Finally, the Telchines, who were said by turns to belong to Crete, to Rhodes, to Cyprus, to Cos, to Lycia, and to various cities of Greece, all distinguished for skill in the working of metals, and particularly to Sicyon, which, according to Pliny (Natural His- tory, xxxvi. 4), was long famous for its work-shops for all the metals. What is most important to note as established by the whole testimony of the ancients, differing so much in many things, but all agreeing on this point, is the track followed by these introducers of a new art,

I 76 History of Art.

and that of the other referring to handiwork in general. The decoration of the oldest shrines, and the most ancient images of the gods, were ascribed to them ; and so fabulously old did these latter appear to the Greeks themselves, as to give rise to the legend that they had fallen from heaven. It is evident, that, in those early statues, art had not been yet awakened : rather it was left to the pious imagination of the faithful to worship these almost shapeless, gaudily-painted, dressed-up wooden pujipets, as symbols only of the gods. The name of Daedalus, the cun- ning carver {duiMllnv, to carve cunningly), not only reveals the fact that the earliest idols of the gods in Greece were images carved of wood, but with his name is associated a great advance made in their artistic treatment, since we are told that he <)i)ened the hitherto-closed eyes of the statues, and gave action both to the legs, which, up to his time, had remained unseparated, and to the arms, which hung stiffly down close to the sides of the body.' Only one single work of sculpture is preserved belong-

aJl coming from the parts of Asia Minor farthest to the north, passing into Europe from shore to shore, and esLibhshin,!; thenl^elves wlierever metals were to be found. In the prog- ress made in these arts, the Dactyh led the way. They are the miners, who extract the metals from the earth : they smelt and purify them. Their Greek names are significant : Kel- niis, he who reduces the metal (cither the hammer which beats it, or the iieat which melts it) ; Damnameneus, he who seizes and subdues the metal (the pincers); and Akmon, the anvil. These names show us the metal-workers already established in the mountains of Greece, and in possession of the tools most necessary for their work. The Cabiri are also metal-workers ; the Corybantes and the Curetes are skilfid armorers, who make lances, swords, bucklers, and know the secret of soldering. With the Tclchines, who excel in working in gold and silver, as well as in brass, nr/, properly so called, begins. The Telchines were not only credited with having executed certain miraculous works, such as the scythe of Saturn and the trident ot Neptune, but to them were attributed beside the first images made of the gods." Translated from the article Cselatura, in the new Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, now in course of publication by Messrs. Charles Daremberg and K. Saglio. Paris: llacliette & Co., 1877. Five parts have appeared of this work, which, written in a clear and animated style. witli ample fulness and learning, and with an abundance of the freshest illustrations drawn from every quarter, promises to be an invaluable contribution to our knowledge and to our entertainment. I

[1 Diedalus, the mythic ancestor of the race of Djedalids at Athens, the guild of statuaries ; to which also Socrates belonged. The inventions of Dxdalus, according to tradition, were chiefly instruments for working in wood, .\mong them are named the saw (serra), axe (ascia), the plumb-line (periiendiculum), and the auger (terebra^.. lie also made wings for flying, and invented the lish-hook (iclithyocolla).]

Greek Sculptui^e. — Historical Names. 177

ing to this primitive period of Greek civilization. This is the mighty relief of two rampant lions over the main entrance to the citadel of Mycenae, of which mention was made on p. 125. Besides this, there is a colossal image on a rocky wall of the mountain of Sipylus in Lydia, which is supposed to be the ancient figure in relief of a mourning Niobe, alluded to by Pausanias.^ The art of that heroic period meets us with greater distinctness and variety in the verse of Homer. We there find especial mention made of the working of precious metals ; and vessels and implements of every kind — pitchers, goblets, bowls, coats of mail, sword-belts, and shields — are decorated with rich figure-subjects. The most famous work of this kind, the shield of Achilles, forged by Hephcestus himself, was entirely covered with metaphorical scenes of peaceful shepherd-life, the bustle of a town, and contests of every kind. These representations belong to that very same class of subjects found in the reliefs of Assyria : it is the conception of actual life in its breadth and fulness, already conspicuous in that older art, which, here evidently still in connection with Eastern art, becomes a subject for plastic representation.

While in Homer the most distinguished of these works are ascribed to the god Hephaestus himself, after the seventh cen- tury B. C. we meet with more definite historical records of various artistic undertakings, traceable to human authors. With these we shall begin

The First Epoch

of Greek plastic art, so far as it can be historically authenti- cated. One of the most important works of this kind was the chest of Cypselus, sent by the Cypselides, the tyrants of Corinth, as an offering to the Temple of Hera at Olympia : it was a chest of cedar-wood, covered with carved mythical representations, and inlaid work of gold and ivory. The description given by

[1 And very beautifully by Homer, in Iliad, bk. xxiv. 615.] For a description of it in its present condition, see C. O. Miiller, History of Art, p. 34, English edition.


178 History of Art.

Pausanias of this remarkable work shows an important advance in the subjects represented, compared with the scenes of actual life to which the works of the Homeric period were confined. Here, for instance, in five rows, one above another, were scenes illustrating old Hellenic legends and mythical tales of the gods ; a depth and widening of artistic conception, which points to an important revolution in the general intellectual life. Another famous work also belongs to the same class, — the Throne of Apollo at Amyclae, in the Territory of Lacedaemon, a work executed by Bathycles of Magnesia, who lived about 550 B.C. Here, too, the sides were covered with mythological subjects in relief ; the supports of the throne were statues ; and the whole work sustained an ancient bronze image of Apollo, " in shape resembling a pillar." With the production of such works as these, the improvement in technical skill went hand in hand ; the invention of bronze-casting, for instance, which is ascribed to Rhcecus and Theodorus, the architects of the Temple of Hera at Samos. While the names of these and other artists indicate a lively activity in art on the coast of Asia Minor and the adjacent islands, there is no lack of records respecting an equally eager pursuit of art in Greece proper. Here it seems to have been the Peloponnesus, and especially the ancient capitals Argos and Sicyon, which were the principal seats of artistic activity. Two famous masters of Crete, Dipaenus and Scyllis, were employed there, and founded an influential school of art. Among their works we hear not only of images of the gods, but also of statues of heroes, often in large groups, in which, for the first time, marble was extensively used, as well as a combination of gold and ivory (chryselephantine). Thus, in this period of great activity, both intellectual and technical progress worked together in bringing about a marked improve- ment in the art of sculpture.

Some of the monuments still preserved afford us a lively idea of what Greek art could achieve at this period. By far the earliest works are the remarkable sculptures of the temple at

Greek Sculpture. — Archaic Works.


Assos, which are now in the museum of the Louvre in Paris. They consist of shallow reliefs, executed in blackish calcareous tufa, in a clumsy style that calls to mind the Assyrian monu- ments. Covering the architrave in unbroken succession, they approach nearer to Oriental than to Greek art, even in their subjects, — contests between lions and bulls ; men at drinking- bouts ; fantastic devices, such as sphinxes, centaurs, and men with fishes' tails. Next follow the metope-reliefs of the oldest of the temples at Selinus, now in the museum at Palermo. Two only are in complete preservation : nothing but fragments are left of a third, representing a chariot drawn by four horses. The two works extant represent Perseus killing the Medusa in the presence of Minerva, and Hercules carrying away on his shoulders two Cercopes, goblin-like demons (Fig. 94). The style of this represen- tation is extraordinarily severe, almost horrible : the Medusa is thoroughly distorted ; the other figures are formless and heavy ; the faces are mask-like and stiff, with large staring eyes, projecting and compressed lips, broad fore- head, and prominent nose. Still more awkward is the archaic dis- tortion of all the figures ; the upper part of the body present- ing a front-view, while the legs and feet are seen in profile, and as if advancing, — a peculiarity also found in ancient Oriental art. Nevertheless, this remarkable work is not deficient in a just observation of life, and in a correct though somewhat exagger- ated type of form : indeed, in the due filling of the space allotted, and in a certain bold freedom, a lively and artistic creative power makes itself felt in spite of all the harsh limi- tations of style. Old traces of polychromatic work, of the red

Fig. 94. Metope-Relief from Selinus.


Histojy of Art.

\ %

painting of the background and the edges of the drapery, add to the primitive character of the work, the origin of which may be placed in the beginning of the sixth century B.C.'

Other works of the same epoch, belonging to a similar stage of development, and yet differing from these in the conception of the form of the body, belong to Greece proper. These are chieffy marble statues, such as that of Apollo found in the Island of Thera, and now placed in the Temple of Theseus at Athens, and a similar statue of Apollo at Teriea near Corinth, now in the Glyptothck at Munich (Fig. 95). In the slender form of the body a decided contrast is here exhibited to the heavy muscularity of the works at Selinus ; the limbs, although severe and rigid, show a better understanding and less exaggeration : on the other hand, there is the same mask-like smile and lack of expression in the countenance, and the same awkwardness in allowing the soles of both feet to rest on the ground, although in motion. More nearly related to these works are some Attic monuments belonging to the same early period ; among them the statue in relief of Aristion, ac- cording to its inscription the work of Aristocles, and now in the museum of the Temple of Theseus :'^ it exhibits the same motionless bearing, the same fettered step, the same conscientious execution, and combines with all this a skilful filling-up of the surface of the narrow pier allotted to it. Belonging to the same class of works is a tombstone lately unearthed at Orchomenos, on which is sculptured the figure of a man wrapped in a mantle, and leaning on a staff : he holds out a cicada to his dog, while his faithful companion springs up, and leaps upon his master.

t'ig- 95- Apollo of Teiiea.

1 O. Benndorf, Die Metopen von Selinunt. Berlin, 1873.

[2 A good cut of this relief, called The Soldier of Marathon, will be found in Mahaffey's Rambles and Studies in Greece. London, 1877.J

Greek Sculpture in Asia Minor. i8i

We perceive from these works how early Greek art, by keen observation, and understanding of realities, trained itself for its greater tasks. ^

If, in the monuments we have considered, the differences "between the severe Doric art of Sicily and that of Hellas proper, softened as it was by Attic refinement, are plainly perceived, on the other hand some remarkable works in Asia Minor afford us a glance into the early development of the more luxuriously soft Ionic art. Mention must be made, in the first place, of the numerous remains in the Island of Cyprus, which are now in Paris in the collection of the Louvre (Musee Napoleon III.), because in these the blending with Oriental art is most distinctly apparent ; for as the island from its position invited colonization from the most different quarters, Phoenician settlements existing side by side with Hellenic colonies, this intermingling is also reflected in its works of art.^ About a hundred heads and torsos of male statues, executed in a light tufa-like limestone, are to be seen in the Louvre. Many have a diadem of laurels ; but all have the same antique and stiff type of form which the Apollo of Tenea exhibits. Some are repre- sented as stepping slightly forward, with arms closely attached to the body. The conventional treatment of the hair in parallel curls and ringlets is also familiar to us in the Apollo statue. Frequently the Egyptian apron appears ; which must, therefore, have been the native dress of a part of the inhabitants. This seems also confirmed by the Cyprian torso ^ in the museum at Berlin, in whose attire Assyrian ornaments and the Greek Medusa head are combined with Egyptian form. Similar stiffness, with

[1 A cut of this figure is in Liibke's History of Sculpture, English edition, p. 89.] [2 The far richer collection of Cypriote antiquities in the New-York Metropolitan Museum of Fine Arts affords American students the means of studying this plane of Greek art at home. The Boston Museum of Fine Arts has also a small but choice collection of Cypriote antiqui- ties. For an excellent account of the Cesnola collection of Cypriote antiquities in the New-York Metropolitan Museum, see Harper's Magazine for July, 1872. Also Die Sammhmg Cesnola, beschrieben von Johannes Doell. St. Petersburg, 1873. Admirably illustrated.]

3 See Stark's careful description in Gerhard's Denkmiiler und Forsch. (No. 169, 1863).


History of Art.

an outline otherwise tolerably soft and undefined, is to be found in the remarkable statue in the Louvre from Idalium, the drapery of which is formed by the Greek peplos with its conventional folds. To this class also belong the ten colossal marble sitting figures of men and women recently placed in the British Mu- seum, which formerly, after the manner of the Egyptian sphinx avenues, bordered the road from the harbor to the old temple of the Didymxan Apollo at Mclitus. With all their stiffness of bearing, they exhibit remarkable softness and roundness of form, combined with heaviness of proportion, and an execution rather suggestive than sharply defined.'

VV V ^j (•■y.'^i.v.Ai^ i.

Fig. 96. From the Harpy Monument from Xantlius. British Museum.

Most important are the reliefs discovered at Xanthus in Lycia, and now to be seen in the British Museum : they belong to the Harpy Monument, — a pier-shaped memorial, along the upper edge of which is a frieze ornamented in relief. Although the subjects are derived from indisputably foreign Oriental myths, yet, in spite of its softness, the style of these marble works is Greek. Our representation of a small part of the frieze (Fig. 96), which consists of twelve slabs, exhibits the goddess of life sitting on a throne, and holding fruit and blos-

1 Described more at lengtli in my Geschichte der Plastik, second edition, p. 88; English edition, vol. i. p. 91. Cf. the illustrations in Newton's work on Halicamassus, &c.

Greek Sculpture in Asia AH nor. 183

sonis in her hand. Three women approach her with reverence : the first holds her dress in an antique manner, and throws back her veil ; the two others present offerings of flowers, pomegran- ates, and eggs. On two other sides, between similar scenes, there are figures of Harpies carrying off children. The elegant arrangement of the hair and drapery, which falls only in par- allel folds, the stiff, smiling expression of the countenances, as well as the gait, are altogether in keeping with the primitive character of this epoch.

Nearly related to these important works is the great relief- slab, now in the Villa Albani in Rome, which was formerly erroneously supposed to represent Leucothea. It belonged, probably, to a tomb ; and the subject is a family scene, which is represented with exquisite delicacy. A female figure, strongly resembling, in the style of treatment, the relief on the Harpy Monument, is sitting upon a chair, and holding in her arms a young child, which reaches out its little hand to her as if desir- ing to caress her. Another female stands before the woman on the chair, and appears to be giving her a piece of cloth. Near this second woman stand two others. A thouc-htful, tender touch of sentiment is wafted to us from this relief, like a breath from the ancient Attic art.'

The same delicacy, crossed, it may be, with something of archaic want of skill, meets us in the large relief lately found on the Ionian Island of Thasos, and now in the Louvre at Paris. There are three slabs, which appear to have formed the front and sides of a tomb. On the broadest slab, which made the front of the tomb, there is a niche shaped like a door, hav- ing on the left a figure of Apollo with a cithara in his hand, who is being crowned by a young woman ; while, on the right, three other nymphs, or Graces (Charites), are moving toward the door. On one of the two smaller side-slabs there are three more advancing female figures, and on the other a single figure of a

[1 For a cut of this relief, see Liibke's History of Sculpture, English edition, p. 95. C. O. Miiller thinks it represents a mother presenting her child to a child-fostering divinity.]

1 84

History of Art.

woman, who is preceded by a Hermes, who seems to be act- ing as guide (see Fig. 97). The neat execution and the modest reserve of the lightly-stepping maidens contrasts in a striking manner with the figures of the two gods, already somewhat more free and animated in their action.'

Fig. 97. Relief from Thasos.

This small selection of works still in preservation belonging to the same period, and conceived with the same archaic re- straint, makes us aware that there were distinct differences of style in the various localities where the art was exercised ; and this observation is confirmed by what the ancient writers record respecting the various art-schools of Greece at this period. Hellas, and especially the Peloponnesus, now stands in the fore- most rank. In Argos we find mention of Ageladas as a famous master, actively engaged probably from about 515 to 455 B.C., famous for his bronze statues of gods and Olympic victors, and still more famous for his three great pupils, Phidias, Myron, and

[1 For a cut of the whole of this relief, of which only the two side-slabs are here shown, see Liibke's History of Sculpture, English edition, p. 96. It was found by E. Miller in 1864. The largest of the three slabs is 2.10 metres long by 92 centimetres high.]

Greek Sculpture. — Aigiuatau Marbles.


Polycletus, the brilliant constellation of the highest epoch of Greek art. In Sicyon, at the same time, there lived with his brother Aristocles, the founder of a vital and enduring school, the still more famous Canachus, who executed the colossal statue of Apollo at Miletus,^ and who was skilled not only in casting in bronze and in the use of gold and ivory, but also in wood-carving. ^Egina, then a commercial island as yet not subjugated, was rendered illustrious by the two masters Gallon and Onatas, the latter especially known by several groups of bronze statues, and warlike scenes from heroic legends. Lastly, Athens possessed among other artists Hegias (or Hegesias), already important in art-history as teacher of Phidias, and Gritius, who, together with Nesiotes, made the famous group of the tyrannicides, Harmodius and Aristogeiton, after an older one by Antenor had been carried off by Xerxes in 480. Of this important group we have a copy upon certain Athenian coins, and upon a marble chair (Fig. 98), as well as later repetitions in two marble statues in the museum at Naples. We recognize with what truth to nature the old master has chosen the moment when the young Harmodius with his drawn sword is rushing for- ward covered and protected by his older friend. After all, all that we know of these masters, whose works have perished, is limited to general statements that their style was severe, hard, and archaic ; and,

[1 For a cut of the Apollo by Canachus, see Lubke's History of Sculpture, English edi- tion, p. 98.]

Fig. q8.

Copy of the Group of the Tyrannicides at Athens.


History of Art.

although certain distinctions are made between them, we cannot gain from these any clear idea of their essential characteristics. All the more important is it for us, that, half a century ago, the famous groups of statues from the Temple of Minerva at iEgina were discovered : their origin may be placed with great probability between 500 and 480 B.C. : they now belong to the treasures of the Glyptothek at Munich. The eleven figures of the west gable are in an- almost perfect state of preservation ; and of those on the east so much is left, that here, also, even the details of the composition can be ascertained. In both com- partments the subjects refer to the contests between the Greeks

Fig. 99. Statues on tlie Western I'tdimcnt of Temple at iEgina, Munich.

and Trojans ; in both there is a dispute over the corpse of a fallen Greek, whom Pallas Athene herself takes under her pro- tection by stepping between the combatants. In the centre of the western pediment the goddess stands fully equipped with helmet and coat of mail, and with spear and shield, covering a fallen body, towards which an enemy, bending forward, is stretching out his arms (Fig. 99). On both sides, in symmetri- cal arrangement, two warriors are hastening forward with up- lifted spears ; and these are followed by two kneeling figures,

Greek Scnlphire. — yEginatan Marbles. 187

the one holding a bow, and the other a lance : each of the ex- treme angles of the pediment is filled by the prostrate figure of a wounded man. A similar arrangement, only differing in the details, and presenting figures in other attitudes, is repeated in the other pediment. In the western side the subject of dispute is the body of Achilles, which Ajax and other heroes are wrest- ing from the Trojans, among whom we may recognize Paris by his Phrygian head-dress and Asiatic trousers ; in the eastern side it is the body of Oikles, which Hercules and Telamon are defending against the Trojan Laomedon. As in the one Paris is characterized by his peculiar costume, so here, also, we recog- nize Hercules by the lion's skin. All the rest, with the excep- tion of the goddess, are entirely naked, having only a helmet covering the short, crisp hair. The figures are executed with the utmost knowledge, and with masterly skill : life and action are expressed with unsurpassable power in the strongly-strained muscles and swelling veins. If, in this, these ^ginatan works pass a step beyond the Apollo of Tenea, they excel them still more decidedly in the freedom and energy with which the fig- ures are represented in the most different attitudes, in passion- ate onset, kneeling down, falling, and bending forward. At the same time, nothing is to be seen here but a strict and coarse observance of nature, unsoftened by idealism : the figures are rather athletic than heroic, and the artist has had in view rather physical vigor than . beauty of form. The more perfectly, how- ever, every movement is expressed in the body, the more strik- ing is the contrast of the vacant expression of the faces with their set smile. The same master who so well understood the play of the muscles of the whole body had no comprehension of those emotions which vibrate electrically in the countenance : hence the faces of his heroes reveal to us nothing of their inner feelings, nothing even of the excitement of the contest. Lastly, the figure of the goddess is thoroughly constrained ; and al- though it was certainly a legitimate aim to mark her as a power- ful protecting deity by the mere solemnity of her appearance,

1 88 History of Art.

yet the awkwardness of her attitude is an evidence of the strict rules by which art was at that time fettered in the representa- tion of the gods. On the other haTid, the laws regarding the filling up of the architectural space arc excellently adhered to. Finally, it is not to be denied that the figures in the eastern pediment, especially those of Hercules and the dying warrior, arc superior in their truth to nature, and in the expression of the heads, to the stiff and constrained figures of the western pediment, and betray the progress of a younger generation.'

To a somewhat later period belong the metope reliefs, wh.ich are now in the museum at Palermo, and which orginally orna- mented a more recent temple at Selinus. They represent various battle-scenes, the tragic fate of Actaeon, the meeting of Jupiter and Juno, and Hercules in contest with an Amazon. They show great energy in their drawing, freedom of composition, and, on the whole, a thorough knowledge of anatomy, which is executed in an extremely life-like manner. The type of head is modelled on those of the earlier works at Selinus: a j^rimitive, an archaic conception is plainly expressed in the regularly-curled hair, rigid lips, and heavy eyelids ; yet the fresh and life-like expression of the heads is decidedly superior to the stiffness of those at ./Egina. The material is a calcareous tufa, much disintegrated : the head, hands, and feet of the female figures are of white marble.

The other works belonging to this early period are, for the most part, not to be traced to any definite locality. In the later age of a more developed art, the archaic style was accepted by preference for certain statues of the gods ; and by the parallel folds of the drapery, the regularly-curled hair, and imitated severity of feature, an attempt was made to reproduce the

[1 Excellent casts of ten figures from the western pediment, and of five figures from the eastern pediment, are to be seen in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, where are also casts from the (so-called) Leucothea and the Infant Bacchus, the reliefs from the Harpy Monument (Fig. 96), the Soldier of Marathon, the funeral-slab from Orchomenos, and of the lions from the gate of Mycenx- (Fig. 71), and others. These casts were purchased for the Museum with money from the Charles Sumner Fund.]

Greek SciUpture. — Early Works. 189

impression of those old works. Yet generally, in a certain graceful way of holding the hands, and in the position of the feet, and sometimes even in apparently insignificant accessories, the later origin of the work is betrayed. Among these archaiz- ing works WT must mention the famous statue of Pallas Minerva at Dresden, without head or arms, where the extremely life-like battle-scenes in relief on the front of the drapery give the lie to the stiff folds of the peplum ; ^ also the delicately-executed statue of Diana at Naples, and the altar of the twelve gods at Paris, and others.

The transition to the following epoch, the period of art's highest prime, is formed by some masters, who are pointed out, it is true, as representatives of the ancients, but who, by their more delicate execution, as well as by their wider range of sub- ject, approach the freedom and perfection of the highest period. The first of these is Calamis of Athens, a highly versatile and productive artist. Images of gods, heroic female figures, horses with riders, and chariots with four horses, are mentioned among his creations. He worked in marble, bronze, gold, and ivory ; and even some smaller productions of his chisel were much esteemed. His horses are said to have been unsurpassable, and his female figures noble in form ; and thus a touch of finer life probably distinguished his works from those of his predecessors. A statue of Hermes bearing a ram on his shoulders, which he made for the city of Tanagra in Boeotia, is known to us only by copies.- In a relief lately discovered at Athens, the elements of this composition are repeated with all the delicacy of the old Attic art. Almost contemporaneous with him, in the first half of the fifth century (about 470), lived Pythagoras of Rhegium, an artist of Graecia Magna. He executed his life-like and strongly-developed works exclusively in bronze, and among them his contests of heroes and his athletic statues of the

[1 A cast of the Dresden Pallas is in the Boston Museum.]

2 Described by C. von Liitzow in the Annals of the Institute, 1869. [For cut of this, see Mahaffy's Rambles and Studies in Greece.]


History of Art.

victors are especially praised. Like him in his more naturalistic tendency, but of far greater importance, was Myron, whose chief works belong to Athens. He, too, preferred bronze to every other material ; but in the subjects of his art he was far more varied than Pythagoras. His images of the gods, representa- tions of heroes, and statues of victorious athletes, have been

much extolled : among the latter the runner Ladas has been highly praised, and also the no less admired disk- thrower (discobolus), to the excellence of which many marble copies — above all, the excellent one in the Massimi Palace and the one in the Vatican at Rome — Ix-ar wit- ness (Fig. 100). We find in it the most acute observation of life, the most just conception of bold, rapid movement, and the greatest freedom in the expression of the action. Be- side these, certain figures of animals by this great master were judged to excel all others by their inimitable truthful- ness to nature : among them the famous "cow " excited universal admiration ; yet we cannot, out of all the many witty epigrams that were made upon it, get a satisfactory notion of what it was like' in attitude or action.

[1 " All the epigrams unite in praising especially its truthfulness and naturalness, and can- not enough exaggerate the possibility of its being taken by mistake for a real animal. A lion will tear the cow to pieces ; a bull will leap it ; a calf will suck it ; the rest of the herd will join it ; the herdsman will throw a stone at it to make it move on ; he strikes it, he whips it, he pipes to it ; the farmer brings yoke and plough to harness it ; a thief would steal it ; a gad-fly would fasten on its hide; yes, Myron himself would confound it with the other cows of his herd." — Goethe, Myron V Kuhi\

Fig. 100. Disk-Tlirouer, .ifler Myron.

Greek Sctilpture. — Myron. — Second Epoch. 1 9 1

The same striking vivacity of expression is seen in the marble statue of a Satyr in the Lateran Museum, in which, as is be- lieved, is also found the copy of a work l)y Myron (Fig. loi). It is supposed to be that statue of Marsyas who has found the flute which Athene threw away, and, full of joy, is in the act of appropriating it. An incorrect restoration which has put castanets into the hands of the figure has hindered its true interpre- tation.

With this last-named mas- ter, art had reached the highest freedom in the rep- resentation of the forms of the body : it had victorious- ly overcome every difficulty in the representation of out- ward life, and was now suf- ficiently ripe to satisfy fully the demands of ideal con- ception. At this point be- gins

Fig. loi. Marsyas, after Myron.

The Second Epoch,

the period of that wonderful elevation of Hellenic life which was ushered in by the glorious victory over the Persians, and only too speedily reached its termination in the Peloponnesian war which was kindled by the jealousy of Sparta. Now, for the first time, in opposition to the barbarians, the national Hellenic mind rose to the highest consciousness of noble independence and dignity. Athens concentrated within herself, as in a focus, the whole exuberance and many-sidedness of Greek life, and

192 History of Art.

glorified it into beautiful unity. Now, for the first time, the deepest thoughts of the Hellenic mind were embodied in sculp- ture ; and the figures of the gods rose to that solemn sublimity in which art embodied the idea of divinity in purely human form. This victory of the new time over the old was effected by the power of Phidias, one of the most wonderful artist-minds of all times.

He was the son of Charmides, and was born at Athens about the year 500 B.C. At first he is said to have been attracted to painting ; but he soon turned his attention to sculpture, in which Hegias and Ageladas instructed him. The first period of his activity belongs to the time of Cimon's administration. He did not, however, reach the highest perfection of his art until the rule of his great friend Pericles ; and this period embraces his mature manhood and the close of his life, which may be reckoned at about his sixty-eighth year. After having embodied in sculp- ture the highest ideas of the Hellenic mind, and become the admiration of his time, he was shamefully accused in his old age by the enemies of Pericles ; and, being condemned to im- prisonment by the fickle people, he died soon after, probably of poison.

We know far more of the works of his mind, which were the admiration of all antiquity, than we do of the outward circum- stances of his life. To the early epoch of his life many great works certainly belong, especially a group of bronze figures representing heroes of the land of Attica, of which Miltiades was the central figure, and which was placed at Delphi by the Athenian people as a thank-offering for the victory at Marathon ; also a statue of Athene, at Platoea, — a wooden image covered with gold, the nude parts being of marble ; but, above all, the colossal bronze image of Athene, which stood on the Acropolis at Athens, and which was visible from far out at sea to those approaching land. The Athenians erected it, in memory of the victory over the Persians, with the booty taken from the enemy at Marathon. The only copy of this work which we possess

Greek Sculpture. — The Athene of Phidias. 193

is that preserved on Attic coins : unfortunately, however, the representation is so various, that we are left in doubt respecting many essential points. Sometimes the goddess is standing, with her shield in her right hand by her side, while the left grasps the lance ; another time her left arm is guarded with the shield, while she supports herself with her right arm resting on the lance. The latter position seems the more probable, as it affords ground for the designation of Pallas Promachos (Pallas foremost in the battle) ; and the former more peaceful bearing meets us in another work by Phidias. The height of the statue with the pedestal cannot have amounted to much less than seventy feet.

The activity of Phidias found a grander and wider field in the magnificent undertakings with which Pericles enriched his native city. We know, that, in the noble buildings with which the great Athenian adorned the Acropolis, the most important post was assigned to the direction and influence of Phidias ; and we may suppose that the grand design of these works was in a great measure due to his genius. Not merely had he, with the help of his pupils, to create the inexhaustibly rich sculptured ornament of the Parthenon, the splendid festive Temple of Athene, but to him was intrusted the execution of the cele- brated statue of the goddess herself. This statue, which had utterly disappeared long before the temple was destroyed, was a figure of about forty feet high, composed of gold and ivory, covering a wooden core. The Athenians erected it with the booty taken at Salamis ; and the gold alone with which the statue was adorned was valued at 44 talents, equal to $589,875 of our money. Here, too, the virgin goddess was standing erect, not, however, with her shield raised as the vigorous champion of her people, but as a peaceful, protecting, and victory-giving divinity. A golden helmet covered her beautiful and earnest head ; a coat of mail, with the head of the Medusa carved in ivory, concealed her bosom ; and long flowing golden drapery enveloped her whole figure. Her shield was placed on the

1 94 History of Art.

ground, leaning against her lance in sign of peace : under the shield was coiled the serpent, the protector of the citadel, as we know from a small marble copy found at Athens. A statue of Nik^, six feet high, holding a golden chaplet, and with wings wide-spread, stood upon the outstretched hand of the goddess, in allusion to the prizes of victory, which here, in the presence of the goddess, were presented by the magistrates of the city to the victors in the Panathenaean games. The splendor of the material was, however, surpassed by the profusion of artistic ornament. The undraped parts were formed of ivory ; the eyes, of sparkling precious stones ; the drapery, hair, and weapons, of gold. A sphinx adorned the centre of the helmet, and two grififins the sides. On the outside of the shield contests with Amazons were represented, and on the inside the war between the gods and the giants was engraved ; and even the edge of the sandals was ornamented by the artist with combats of cen- taurs, while a bass-relief of the birtii of Pandora surrounded the pedestal on which the statue stood. A fragment of a marble shield recently found at Athens contains a late copy of the contests with Amazons on the shield of the goddess. All this richness of decoration, however, only served to increase still more the grand simplicity and quiet dignity of the whole figure. In it Phidias portrayed for all ages the character of Minerva, the serious goddess of wisdom, the mild protectress of Attica ; and the noblest of the statues of Athene which have come down to us afford us even now a faint echo of this their much- extolled prototype.

Still more than in this statue the austere maidenliness of the goddess was elevated into noble intellectual beauty in a figure of Athene placed on the Acropolis by the Lemnians ; so much so, that an old epigram instituted a comparison with the Aphro- dite of Praxiteles at Cnidus, and calls Paris a mere cow-driver for not giving the apple to Athene.^

[1 I am indebted to my friend Prof. Henry Drisler for his kindness in finding this epigram for me. It appears to be No. 170 of book iv. of the Anthologia Planudea, edited by Jacobs.

Greek Sculpture. — TJie Zeus of Phidias. 195

The Minerva of the Parthenon was completed and consecrated in the year 437 B.C. This, together with the rich plastic orna- ments of the temple, would alone render the master the first sculptor of all ages. After the completion of his works on the Acropolis, Phidias was summoned to Elis with a band of his best pupils. The state had an atelier built for him, which in later times was reverently cared for and pointed out. In the year 432, upon the completion of his work, he returned, laden with honors, to his native city. Nevertheless, in the evening of his life he was yet to execute a work, which, according to the verdict of all antiquity, eclipsed all other works, and was justly extolled as the highest creation of plastic art ; namely, the colossal gold and ivory statue of Jupiter at Olympia. The father of the gods and of men was seated on a splendid throne in the cella of his Olympic temple, his head encircled with a golden olive-wreath : in his right hand he held Nike, who bore a fillet of victory in her hands, and a golden wreath on her head ; in his left hand rested the richly-decorated sceptre. Here, too, an allusion to the Olympic games and the distribu- tion of the rewards of victory was expressed by the presence of the goddess of victory. The undraped upper half of the body of the god was formed of shining ivory : the lower half was covered with a gold mantle richly ornamented with flowers and devices. In contrast with the sublime simplicity of the figure, the throne of the god was a work of the richest and most varied art, adorned with gold and precious stones, ebony and ivory. Goddesses of victory, four above and two below, were placed upon each foot of the throne ; and the reliefs on the cross-rails represented the eight ancient kinds of contest at the Olympian games, and the contests of Hercules and Theseus with the Amazons. Besides this, supplementary sup- ports placed between the feet helped to sustain the heavily-

The following is a rough translation : " O stranger ! seeing the Cnidian Cytherea, thou wouldest say, ' Rule thou over mortals and over immortals ! ' But, then, looking at the warlike Pallas at Athens, thou wouldest exclaim, ' Vv'hat a very cow-herd was that Paris ! ' "


History oj Art.

burdened seat ; and the lower part consisted of bars on which the painter Panasnus had executed representations from the heroic legends. Figures of sphinxes, and reliefs portraying the fate of Niobe's children, were placed on the substructure of the throne ; the back was carved with figures of the Graces (Charites) and the Hours (Horas) ; on the footstool were golden lions and Amazonian contests ; and lastly, on the base itself, there were reliefs depicting the figures of the gods. From this immeasurable exuberance of figures, in which the rich imagina- tion of the master vied with the beauty of the execution, rose the form of the highest Hellenic divinity, grand and solemn,

Fig. 102. Coin of Elis, from Overbeck.

and wonderful in majesty. Phidias had represented him as the kindly father of gods and men, but also as the mighty ruler in Olympus. As he conceived his subject, he must have had in his mind those lines of Homer, in which Jupiter graciously grants the request of Thetis : —

" As thus he spake, the son of Saturn gave The nod with his dark brows. The ambrosial curls Upon the Sovereign One's immortal head Were shaken, and with them the mighty Mount Olympus trembled." ^

[' Iliad i. 52S-530, Bryant's translation.]

Gi'eek Sadpture. — The Zeus of Phidias. 197

Certain coins of Elis give an idea of the earnest, thoughtful expression of the head ; as also, on the reverse, a notion of the design of the statue itself (Fig. 102). On the other hand, we find in all the later copies — of which the finest is the colossal marble bust from Otricoli, now in the Vatican (Fig. 103) — a much freer conception and a more realistic handling.

Fig. 103. Bust of Jupiter from Otricoli. Vatican.

For more than eight hundred years the statue of the god was enthroned uninjured in his temple, until both were destroyed by fire in the fifth century after Christ. Only in later copies has a faint image of the masterly work come down to us. . The mighty locks raised in the centre, and falling down on both sides ; the

igS History of Art.

compressed forehead, with the bold arched brows, from under which the large eyes seem to glance forth over the whole universe; the broad and strongly-projecting nose, — all this powerfully expresses the energy and wisdom of the highest Hellenic god ; whilst mild benevolence rests in the full parted lips, and the luxuriant beard and beautifully-rounded cheeks betray sensual power and imperishable manly beauty. We have abundant testimony that all antiquity was enchanted with the sublime expression of the Jupiter of Phidias. All Greece made pilgrimages to it, and every one who had seen it was pronounced happy. The highly-cultivated Roman, ^milius Paulus, declared that the god himself seemed present to him ; others considered the sight of it a magic charm that could make care and suffering forgotten ; and another Roman says that Phidias in his Jupiter had given a fresh impulse to religion itself. Most affectingly, however, is the unsurpassable character of the work expressed in that beautiful legend, which tells us that Phidias, after the completion of his statue, stood thought- fully contemplating his work, and, raising his hands in prayer to Jupiter, implored a sign from heaven to know if his work was pleasing to the god. Then suddenly, through the opening in the roof, a bolt from heaven struck the temple-floor, as an unmistakable sign of the approval of the Thunderer.

Besides these principal works, several famous statues of Aphrodite were executed by Phidias, chief among them one at Elis, made of gold and ivory. Here, also, it was not the grace that charms the senses which the sculptor portrayed, but the divine sublimity of an Aphrodite-Urania.

That Phidias especially excelled in creating images of the gods, and that he preferred, as subjects for his art, those among the divinities the essence of whose nature was spiritual majesty, marks the fundamental characteristic of his art, and explains its superiority, not only to all that had been produced before his time, but to all that was contemporary with him, and to all that came after him. Possessed of that unsurpassable masterly

Greek Snilpture. — Alcamcnes. 199

power in the representation of the physical form to which Greek art, shortly before his time, had attained by unceasing endeavor, his lofty genius was called upon to apply these results to the embodiment of the highest ideas, and thus to invest art with the character of sublimity, as well as with the attributes of perfect beauty. Hence it is said of him. that he alone had seen images of the gods, and he alone had made them visible to others. Even in the story, that, in emulation with other masters, he made an Amazon, and was defeated in the contest by his great contemporary Polycletus, we see a confirmation of the ideal tendency of his art. But that his works realized the highest conceptions of the people, and embodied the ideal of the Hellenic conception of the divinity, is proved by the uni- versal admiration of the ancient world. This sublimity of conception was combined in him with an inexhaustible exuber- ance of creative fancy, an incomparable care in the completion of his work, and a masterly power in overcoming every dif^culty, both in the technical execution and in the material. We shall estimate this more thoroughly when we come to the examina- tion of the Parthenon sculptures. Before, however, we consider these, we must cast a glance at the pupils and associates who assisted the great master in his extensive undertakings.

The most distinguished of these seems to have been Alca- menes, whom we can trace down to the year 402. From the fact that he chiefly produced images of the gods, it is probable that he shared mostly in the ideal tendency of his master. Besides a marble Aphrodite-Urania in Athens, and two statues of Athene, one of which was placed as a votive-offering in the Temple of Hercules at Thebes after the expulsion of the thirty tyrants by Thrasybulus, he is also named as the author of a three-formed Hekate on the ante of the southern wall of the citadel at Athens. In addition to these, he executed the statues of Ares and Hephaestus, Asclepius and Dionysus, and, lastly, a statue of Hera, which he placed in a temple between Athens and the harbor Phalerus. Possibly the noble bust of Juno in


History of Art.

the Villa Ludovisi, at Rome (Fig. 104), which was formerly ascribed to Polycletus, may give us a notion of the conception of Alcamenes. Besides these, he designed the group of statues for the west pediment of the temple at Olympia, representing

Fig. 104. Juno. Possibly by Alcamenes. In the Ludovisi Palace, Rome.

the contest between the Centaurs and the Lapithae. Alcamenes shows himself, therefore, to have been a versatile and imagina- tive disciple of his master. Ne.xt to him, the most important of the pupils seem to have been Agoracritus, the especial favorite

Greek Sculpture. — Relief at Eletisis. 201

of Phidias ; and, in all probability, his works were similar in character to those of his master. Among the other nvmierous pupils we must distinguish Paeonius, who designed the group for the eastern pediment of the Temple of Jupiter at Olympia, representing the contest between Pelops and ^Enomaos for the possession of the land of Elis ; and Colotes, who is said to have had especial skill in the working of ivory and gold.

In spite of all the records of the ancients, we should only have an indefinite idea of the height and perfection to which Attic art had attained at this glorious epoch, if, amid all the destruction that has taken place, a number of important sculp- tures belonging to the Athenian temples had not been pre- served, by the discovery of which it becomes evident what was the nature of Phidias' sublime style, and how infinitely the Greek art of that period rises above all the splendid works of the subsequent epochs, which in the eighteenth century were looked upon by our forefathers as the finest productions of the sculptor's art. If we bear in mind that all these works — beautiful and magnificent as they are — are yet always to be regarded, so far as their execution is concerned, as the produc- tions of the workshop, we gain a faint idea of what must have been those wonderful and irrecoverably lost creations, in which the mind of the great master animated every stroke of the chisel.

In the first place, let us briefly mention the noble marble relief (Fig. 105) which was discovered at Eleusis some years ago, and was brought to the museum in Athens. It represents Demeter with the torch, and Cora with the sceptre, consecrating a youth standing between them, who has scarcely passed beyond boyhood (Triptolemus, or lacchus . ). The noble style of the drapery, the solemn repose of the figures, and the beautiful distribution in the space allotted, give this work great artistic value. Similar in conception to the frieze of the Parthenon, it yet, in certain parts, betrays slight traces of archaic formalism ; so that it belongs to the works which only stand on the


History of Art.

threshold of the period of highest bloom. The coming splendor first greets us in the sculptures of the Temple of Theseus at Athens. The groups on the two pediments have been lost ; but those of the eighteen metopes, which were ornamented with re-

Fig. 105. Relief from Eleusis.

liefs, are, for the most part, in a state of perfect preservation. We also possess the friezes from the two ends of the cella, — those of the pronaos and the opisthodome. The metopes contain repre- sentations of the contests of Hercules and the deeds of Theseus,

Greek Sculpture. — Temple of Theseus. 203

executed in strong relief, and exhibiting much passionate action, great truthfulness to nature in the figures, and, at the same time, skilful adaptation to the space allotted. The friezes of the pro- naos and opisthodome, executed in less strong relief, likewise represent contests. In that of the opisthodome (Fig. 106), the scene presented is the battle which Theseus with his Athenians and the Lapithce fought against the Centaurs, who ventured, with presumptuous insolence, to interrupt the wedding-feast of Peirithoiis. In the frieze of the pronaos we also find contests going on in the presence of the gods, who are calmly looking on. Here, too, there is displayed the greatest energy of action in the representation of passionate contest, \'ictory, and defeat.

Fig. 106. From the Frieze of the Temple o£ Theseus.

There is great boldness and freedom, and the composition is full of ideas and of youthful freshness. Compared with the -^ginatan groups, a complete victory is here exhibited over the severe constraint and symmetrical repetition of the works of the earlier time. Every thing is more flowing, free, and varied ; and the passion which so powerfully affects the bodies is also expressed with life-like force in the energetic expression of the heads.

If, in so short a period, we see such progress made in the development of Hellenic sculpture, we shall not be surprised to find in the works of the Parthenon ^ a still higher, still purer,

1 Denkmaler dcr Kimst, plate 17. Ad. Michaelis, Der Parthenon, mit eineni Bilderatlas. Leipzig, 1871.


History of Art.

still riper advance. We know that Phidias, with his pupils and associates, called into life these plastic wonders; and we may- even suppose the hand of the master in the composition of the

'^J'-;^a;«wtmwi)>/iii ■

Fig. 107. Female Figure from the Kasterii Pediment of the Parthenon, London.

whole, and in the design of all the essential parts. Unfortu- nately, after the terrible destruction of the wonderful building by the Venetians in the year 1687, only a mass of disconnected fragments was left, no longer permitting a complete understand-

Greek Sculphire. — The Parthenon. 205

ing of the connection between the parts, or a conception of the original motive of the whole ; but enough is still existing for us to seize what was most important, and to enjoy its incomparable beauty. Only single figures are preserved of the groups of statues belonging to the two pediments ; but, by a fortunate con- tingency, fifteen years previous to the destruction of the temple the French artist Carrey was in Athens, and his drawings of the groups on the pediment, at that time in a perfect state of preservation, are in the library at Paris. From these, and from the accounts of the ancients, we can gain a complete idea of the original designs.

Both representations aim at the glorification of Athene. In the eastern pediment, over the entrance of the temple, her birth, or, more justly, the moment after birth, was depicted. In looking at the scene, we must imagine ourselves upon Olympus. Undoubtedly, it was here for the first time that Athene appeared among the gods of Olympus. The whole central group has vanished ; but the figures in the two angles are in a great measure preserved. They exhibit on the one side Iris, who, as a heavenly messenger, is bringing the divinities of the land the joyful tidings of the birth of their mistress ; while on the other side Nike, opposite to her, advances toward Athene. On the right there are three figures, — two sitting, and the third leaning: on the bosom of the middle one ; not, as was once believed, the daughters of Cecrops, Pandrosos, Aglauros, and Herse (Fig. 107), but probably Aphrodite on the bosom of Peitho, and another goddess, whose name is not certainly known : on the left there are two corresponding figures, Demeter and her daughter Cora, near whom a magnificent youth is reclining, generally called Theseus, but possibly Dionysus (Fig. 108). While these remains are incomparably placed within the space allotted, the artist has also made ad- mirable use of the extreme angles of the pediment. In the one we see Selene plunging with her chariot into the sea ; while, in the other, Helios is rising from the flood with his panting


History of Art.

Fig. 108. Theseus, from the Eastern Pediment of the Parthenon,


horses, — a consolatory promise of the new and glorious day which is dawning upon the world with the birth of Athene. The greater part of all that is preserved of these figures was

sent to England by Lord Elgin, and now forms the choicest of the treasures in the British Museum. Both the draped fe- male figures and the naked body of tlie youthful hero exhib- it a grandeur of con- ception, a nobility of action, and an harmonious beauty, such as is unequalled by any other work in the whole range of art. The human body is conceived with the utmost truth, freedom, and beauty, but with a power and mag- nificence so exalted above all reality, that it is illumined with the imi)erishable charm of divine ideality. The small remains of the western pediment are similar in character. In Carrey's time, as his drawings prove, it was in almost perfect preservation. It represented the disputes of Minerva and Neptune for the sovereignty of Attica, or rather the moment after the decision. The ruler of the sea thrust liis trident into the rocky soil with his mighty hand, and a spring of salt water burst forth on the summit of the Acropolis : but Minerva caused the sacred olive- tree to shoot forth from the hard rock ; and thus the dominion of the land was given to her, as having conferred the greater benefit upon it. The artist has chosen for his composition the moment when the victorious goddess is on the point of entering her chariot, which stands at her side, amid the joyful accla- mations of her wa'iting people ; while the defeated Neptune,

Greek Sculphire. — Metopes of the Parthenon. 207

striding away in fury, turns towards the other side, where his consort is awaiting him with her retinue. In the end angles the artist has placed the reposing forms of a river-god, — in the one that of the Cephissus, in the other that of the Ilissus, with the water-nymph Callirrhoe to mark the Attic locality. The most important part preserved of this group, with the ex- ception of the bodies of the reclining river-gods, is the torso of Neptune, — a work which, in spite of its sad mutilation, brings before the eye, in every line, in every muscle, and in every vein, the might}- fury of the sea-convulsing god.

A second and very extensive series of works of art is formed by the reliefs of the metopes of the Parthenon, originally ninety- two in number, thirty-one of which are still in their places, one in the Louvre, seventeen in the British Museum ; and even this small remnant are for the most part in a sad state of de- struction. We shall, therefore, never know what was the artistic motive which bound these metope-sculptures together into one consistent whole. The metopes of the south side contain scenes from the battle with the Centaurs, one of the favorite subjects of Attic art. Like those of the Temple of Theseus, they are in strong high relief, full of daring motives and passionate action ; though this is for the most part softened by great beauty of form, and a masterly style of composition which knows how to adapt itself with the utmost freedom to the conditions of the space to be filled. Although the best of these works are worthy of the first master of his time (Fig. 109),

Fig. 109. Metope from the Parthenon.

2o8 History of Art.

yet we meet with others in which the composition is fettered, the space not well filled, and the figures clumsy, and even stiff. We may, therefore, suppose, that, in carrying out this extensive series, considerable independence was allowed to the different artists engaged upon it.

In addition to all this profusion of sculpture, there was still the great frieze, which, in an unbroken line, surrounded the wall of the cella, and which, in its length of five hundred and twenty- two feet, more than four hundred of which we still possess, pre- sents one of the most extensive compositions of the kind in the world. The artist has here expressed with the utmost beauty the importance of the temple, by depicting a festive procession, in which the assembled citizens of Athens are represented as passing up to the citadel at the close of the Panathenaea in order to pay honor to the tutelar goddess by presenting her with a magnificent pallium woven by Attic maidens. In this procession all that was beautiful and excellent in Athens was united, — the noble bloom of maidenhood, the fresh strength of youths trained in gymnastic exercise, and the solemn dignity of magistrates chosen by the people. A more beautiful oppor- tunity for displaying grace and magnificence in diversified abundance could not have been offered to sculpture ; but the task could not have been fulfilled in a more perfect manner than we have here before us in the work of this master. The manner in which Phidias apprehended and executed this task, — for only from him can this wonderful composition in all its de- tails have proceeded, — the unity of aim which lay at the foun- dation of all this rich life, are far removed from the dull realism with which the art of the present day would conceive such sub- jects, and which is echoed in the opinion of those who perceive in the frieze " nothing but the preliminary exercises of the sepa- rate choruses and divisions for the performance of the Attic pageants." This view has been most strikingly contradicted by the artist himself, in the fact that he has represented on the east side, over the entrance, an assembly of enthroned gods, in

Greek Sculptui^c. — Frieze of the PartJicnon. 209

whose presence the giving of the pephim takes place. The head of the procession has just reached the temple. The group standing nearest to them, the archons and heralds, await, quietly conversing together, the end of the ceremony. They are fol- lowed on both sides by a train of Athenian maidens, singly or

Fig. no. From tlie Frieze of the Partlienon.

in groups, many of them with vases and other vessels in their hands (Fig. no). They are, as Overbeck says, "charming, modest figures, in richly-falling festal garments, with a simple and serious air, as if absorbed in the splendid ceremony." The eye observes with heartfelt rapture the inexhaustible skill with which the same motive is varied in these simple figures. A .charming contrast to these quiet groups is formed by the parts of the frieze on the south and north side, where the sacrificial animals, splendid oxen and rams, are represented as sometimes


History of Art.

quietly advancing, and sometimes violently struggling, with difficulty restrained by their powerful leaders. Then follow men and women, then bearers of sacrificial gifts, — bread in shallow baskets, and wine in vessels of various shapes, — then flute-players and players upon the harp, followed by combatants in four-horse chariots. The rear is brought up by prancing horsemen, the prime of the manly youth of Athens, nobly and freely depicted, in groups of infinite variety (Fig. in). Lastly,

Kig. III. From tlic I'rie/.i' of llie Pailhenou.

on the west side, we find other youths just preparing for the procession, bridling their mettlesome steeds, restraining the prancing ones, and trying those that have been subdued by skilful horsemanship (Fig. 112). Thus the artist with great wisdom has combined the beginning, progress, and end of the procession in one well-considered composition ; and, instead of a wearisome epic uniformity, he has given his work dramatic life, and has revealed in the figures of the gods the ideal motive of this festive pageantry ; and, as this charming frieze beams' with the imperishable beauty and majesty of the Athenian people, it gives an equal immortality to the art of their favorite

Greek Sculpture. — Venus of Milo.

2 I I

Phidias. Never have the laws of reUef-representation been so dehcately, so perfectly, so severely, and yet so freely developed as in this work. The figures rise only in slight relief from the surface ; and yet they appear in perfect truth to nature. They present every grade, from solemn repose to ardent action ; and yet there is a calm festivity, a breath of eternal cheerfulness and beauty, diffused over them. Lastly, in the execution of each, there is a care and tenderness such as only belongs to the noblest creations of Attic art.

Fig. 112. From the Frieze of the Partlienon.

A remnant of the sublime style, in the representations of the gods developed under Phidias in the Attic school, is to be rec- ognized in the marble statue of the Aphrodite of Melos, com- monly called " The Venus of Milo," a full-length figure larger than life, now in the Louvre (P^ig. 113). Grandly serious, and almost severe, the goddess of love appears, not yet conceived, as in later representations, as a love-demanding woman. The simple drapery, resting on the hips, displays uncovered the grand forms of the upper half of the body, which, with all their beauty, have that mysterious unapproachableness which is the genuine expression of the divine.


History of Aid.

The sculptures that adorn the Erectheium, the building of which was not completed till the close of the fifth century, appear to be somewhat later in date than those of the Parthe- non. Besides a frieze executed in Pentelican marble upon dark

Fig. 113. Venus of Milo. Louvre.

Eleusinian stone, the small fragments of which, still preserved, reveal a feebler style than that of the Parthenon works, we must mention the six Caryatidos which sujjport the roof of the side-court of the temple, which is designated after them (P'ig. 114). They represent noble Attic maidens of faultless beauty, enveloped in softly-flowing drapery, bearing on their heads the

Greek Sculpture. — Later Names. — Polycletus. 213

light entablature of the ceiling, like the Canephorae of the Pana- thenaic procession. Youthful grace and free life are most suc- cessfully blended in them with the repose and severity demanded by their architectural position. In better preservation are the friezes of the Temple of Nike Apteros, which depict a contest between the Greeks and Persians in the presence of an assembly of the gods. Perfect in execution, rich and varied in composition, they breathe a passionate action, which already indicates the tran- sition to a period of art in which effect is more aimed at, and which finds its model in the frieze reliefs of the Temple of Theseus (Fig. 115).

In these works we cannot but perceive a contrast to the calm majesty of the art of Phidias : the independence of their motives reminds us, perhaps, of the ten- dency of the Myronic school. Among the most distinguished of the successors of this able master we become acquainted with Cresilas, a copy of whose wounded Amazon is preserved in the Capitoline

Museum ; also with Callimachus, who occasionally went too far in the subtle elegance of his marble works, and was famous as the author of the Corinthian capital, and as the designer of the beau- tiful candelabra in the Erectheium ; lastly, Demetrius, who strayed so far beyond the boundaries of true Hellenic art, that he devoted himself to a slavish imitation of nature, a soulless realism.

In opposition to the Athenian schools, Polycletus, a some- what younger contemporary of Phidias, founded a second school of sculpture at Argos. Though likewise a pupil of Ageladas, his style developed itself in a totally different direction, so that

Fig. 114. Caryatide from the Erectheium.


History of Art.

he seems to keep the medium between Phidias and Myron. With the latter he assimilated in his delicate conception and loving treatment of nature, and in a striving after the represen- tation of the pure beauty of the human form : with the former he sympathized in the calm, cheerful repose of a nature con- tented in itself, which once elevated him even above the limits of his own mind into the region of the ideal. Polycletus' aspi- ration was to depict the perfect beauty of the human form in

1' ig. 115. I'lom the Frieze of the Teniple of Nike Apleros.

calm repose. Hence he selected almost exclusively the youth- ful figure, trained by gymnastic exercise, as the object of his art ; and so great was his knowledge, so acute and clear his conceptions, that the name of "the Canon " was given to one of his most admired works, because in it the rules of normal youthful beauty seemed established once for all, while at the same time he explained them in a treatise upon the proportions of the human frame. Scarcely less famous was his Diadume- nos, a beautiful youth, tying on his brow the badge of a victor, a statue with which we are acquainted from a copy in the Far- nese Palace in Rome. He also executed an Apoxyomenos, — an athlete cleansing himself with the strigil from the oil and dust of the arena, — as well as five statues of Olympian victors.

Greek Sculpture. — Polycletus. 2 1 5

Even the celebrated Amazon, in which he outrivalled Phidias and other masters, incHnes to the same style of art in its con- ception, which is that of a female of an almost masculine type. The character of these works of Polycletus is indicated in the saying of the ancients, that he was the first who represented statues resting on one foot while the other was slightly drawn back. By this means alone could the character of graceful lightness and easy poise be rightly expressed.

If the genius of this master had hitherto been fettered both in subject and material, — all these works having been executed in bronze, — he produced in his later years a work, which, in material, motive, and conception, rivalled the two colossal gold and ivory statues of Phidias : we refer to the statue of Juno for the temple of this goddess in Argos, which had been rebuilt after its destruction by fire in the year 423 B.C. The statue represented her sitting sublime on her golden throne, wholly veiled in golden drapery, with the exception of her face and beautiful arms, and on her head the diadem befitting the queen of the gods. The Horae and Charitae (the Hours and Graces) were represented in relief on the crown. In her right hand she held the sceptre, in her left the pomegranate, the token of her victory over Demeter, the second consort of Jupiter. Various other symbolic emblems were added : and at her side stood her daughter Hebe, executed in gold and ivory by Naucydes, a pupil of the master. A copy in marble, the colossal head of Juno in the Villa Ludovisi in Rome, was believed until lately to be a copy of this work, in which Polycletus established for all ages the artistic type of the royal consort of Jupiter {Fig. 116). It is "like a verse of Homer" is Goethe's enthusiastic excla- mation at the sight of this thrilling work, the first view of which fills the spectator with reverential awe, and awakens the idea of unapproachable divine majesty. The features are severe and strong ; the brow, with its diadem crown, is free and open ; and its height is gracefully tempered by the softly-flowing hair. The grand look of the eye, the voluptuous and yet sharply-chis-

2 l6

History of Art.

elled lips, and the strong, rounded chin, proclaim the austere character of the goddess who could even sway the unrestrained will of Jupiter. Lately, however, it has been rightly judged, that in this work, with all its nobleness, there is betrayed a

Fig. 1 16. Hera, possibly after Polycletus, Naples.

certain softness and mildness which cannot have been possible in the time of Polycletus. It is now believed, therefore, that, in a marble head in the museum at Naples, we have found an example of that greater strength which was to be looked for in

a work of the old master of Argos.

G)-eck Sculpture. — PJiigalcian Frieze. 2 1 7

The pupils of Polycletus followed the style of art exhibited in his before-mentioned works. Among them, Naucydes stands foremost. He executed the Hebe for the statue of Juno, and was also known as the author of a disk-thrower and several statues of victors. There is a marble statue in the Vatican, supposed to be a later repetition of his disk-thrower, which, from the quiet, thoughtful bearing previous to the throw, is character- istically distinguished from that of Myron, where the figure is raising his arm for the mighty hurl : it also clearly shows the peculiarity of Polycletus' art in the light elasticity of the atti- tude. Lately, however, it has been argued, not without prob- ability, that this very thoughtfulness, and the delicacy of the conception, point rather to a work of Attic art.

The other parts of Greece at this period stand out less prominently, compared with the schools of Argos and Attica ; yet there is no lack of remains, which, in all probability, may be traced to these two schools of art. The most important are the reliefs decorating the interior frieze of the Temple of Apollo at Bassae, near Phigalia in Arcadia, which were discovered in the year 1812, and are now preserved in the British Museum.^ The temple, which was built at the beginning of the Pelopon- nesian war, was the work of Ictinus. His sculptures exhibit, however, such a thoroughly different style, that they are scarcely to be traced to Attic hands, although the subject refers to the favorite national legends of Attica. Amazon contests (Figs. 117, 118, 119) and the battle with the Centaurs form the subject of the whole frieze : the combatants are separated by Apollo hastening forward with his sister Diana in a chariot drawn by stags. Among all that is preserved to us of the productions of Greek art, these reliefs must be singled out as the boldest and the most animated compositions. A sparkling

[1 The dearest and most complete account in English of these sculptures, and of those on the Parthenon, is contained in two volumes published by the Society for the Diffusion of Use- ful Knowledge, — The Elgin and Phigaleian Marbles. London, 1S33. The volumes are properly illustrated.]


History of Art.

warmth, combined with power and exuberance of invention, pre- vails in them, far superior to the kindred works in the Temples of Theseus and Nike, and never needing the aid of repetition. At the same time, the figures are handled in a masterly manner.

Fig. 117. !■ ixmi the Frieze of the Temple at Phigali.i, London.

Many of the groups are enchantingly beautiful : all of them are strikingly truthful. But the delicate moderation, which never allowed Attic art to outstep the limits of the beautiful, is often lacking with the Phigalian artist. Exaggerated, over-

Fig. 118. From the Frieze of the Temple at Phigalia, London.

violent, uncouth, and even ugly traits are introduced ; and one can almost trace in them the violent passions which mark the Peloponnesian war, with its fatal results for Greece, — passions

Greek Sculpture. — Third Epoch.


and feelings as much in contrast with the noble and pure enthu- siasm of the period of Marathon as the Phigaleian sculptures differ from the works of the art of Phidias.

The small remains of the reliefs which have been found in the ruins of the Temple of Jupiter at Olympia, and which are now placed in the Museum of the Louvre, also belong to a ruder Peloponnesian school, inclined rather to conformity w^ith



From the Frieze of tlie Temple at Piiigalia, London.

nature than to ideal representation. Among them, full of strong life, is a figure of Hercules subduing a bull ; and naively grace- ful, on the other hand, is a nymph, sitting on a rock, and watching the deeds of the hero.

The Third Epoch, which includes the fourth century until the time of Alexander the Great, differs unmistakably from that preceding it, both in the period which it occupies and in its character. The Pelo- ponnesian war had destroyed all the mutual relations of the Grecian States ; had kindled in enmity against one another those passions which could no longer be united in opposition to a common foe ; and had introduced a more animated age, and one of more varied motives, in the place of the great days gone by. The old great conceptions and sentiments had passed away, and in their stead appeared new thoughts and feelings.

2 20 History of Art.

successfully set free from the bondage of the past ; for, as the old band of union between the individual states dissolved, each individual subject attained a freer position amid the more untrammelled action of the whole, developing a complete strength more freely, and making a more varied use of the rich resources at command. The intense tragedy of Euripides, the philosophic systems of a Plato, and, later, of an Aristotle, are distinctly the offspring of this epoch ; and if the spirited comedy of Aristophanes turned its biting wit in favor of the great past, and against the characteristics of the new era, it is none the less a product of the latter. In sculpture, decided changes were the result of these conditions. The intenser, more emotional character of the time must, of necessity, be reflected in its works. Where the earlier age had pictured impressive and awe-inspiring deities, now appeared in their stead the divinities of a more spirited, a warmer, and more life-loving activity ; where hitherto, in the representation of animated action, only the play of the bodily powers had been used in the portrayal of victory or defeat, it now became the highest goal of art to show the deeper pathos of the soul, the intense expression of emotion. It was a result of this that the material, too, was changed ; that marble, reproducing most admirably the softer, finer shades of form and of expression, was preferred to bronze ; and that work in gold and ivory (for which, indeed, the resources of the states no longer sufficed) was almost utterly neglected. In general, this epoch was not favorable to great monumental works : commissions from private citizens, and consequently the influences of a more decided individual taste, determined, for the most part, the art-character of the time.

One master, however, shows the period of transition to this more emotional method, — a man who still largely represented the conceptions of the earlier period. This was the old Cephi- sodotus of Athens, presumably the father of Praxiteles, who thus united the time of Phidias with the younger school. He devoted himself especially to statues of the gods, both in bronze

Greek Sculpture. — Scopas.


and marble ; and was perhaps the first to establish an artistic type for the nine Muses. It has recently been discovered that the exquisite marble statue in the Glyptothek at Munich, pre- viously called the Leukothea, is a copy of one of his works, — the goddess of peace (Eirene), hold- ing upon her arm the infant Plutus, the god of riches (Fig. 120). The work still breathes the noble style of the time of Phidias, but unites with it a certain depth of feeling in which we may distinctly recognize the influence of the later epoch.

The first great master of this period is Scopas. A native of the Island of Paros, he was one of the two lead- ers of the new Attic school in the first half and toward the middle of the fourth century ; the other being Praxiteles, who was somewhat his junior. He was successful above all others in reproducing touching pa- thos and stormy passion with a power that had as yet not been dreamed of. One of the most important monu- mental works undertaken in this epoch belongs to the earlier part of his life, — the restoration, under his direction, of the Temple of Athena Alea in Tegea, which had been burned in the year 394. The two groups in its pediments, representing the hunt of the Calydonian boar and the combat of Achilles with Telephus, were also from his hand. If this fact indicates an early-developed and versatile genius in the artist, his later works certainly confirm the inference. Among the great num- ber of his statues of divinities, those are especially noticeable which exhibit a strong and elevated feeling. Among them is an Apollo, — brought to the Palatine at Rome by Augustus, —

Fie. 120,

Eirene, after Cephisodntus. Munich.

2 2 2 History of Art.

clothed in a long flowing robe, striking the cithara in exalted mood, his head crowned with a wreath of laurel. The marble statue in the Vatican appears to be a copy of this forcible cre- ation of the master.^ The expression of excited enthusiasm was still more powerfully exhibited in a maddened Bacchante, whose stormy passion is believed to be recognizable in a copy in the Louvre at Paris. Less powerful, but so much the more delicate in conception, was a seated Ares, who, consumed with love for Aphrodite, appears sunk in revery. Scopas was the first to model the goddess of love herself in the full beauty of her naked bodv, the loveliness of which compelled a burst of admiration. More important than these works, however, was a marble group of large dimensions, which, though set up in a temple at Rome, was originally, perhaps, intended for the deco- ration of the pediment of a temple, and represented his mother Thetis bringing to her son Achilles the armor made for him by ITephasstus. In the Nereids and Tritons riding their sea- monsters, and in the numerous following of sea-gods and god- desses, the artist admirably pictures the rollicking existence of the merry ocean-folk. Finally, we know that Scopas, with other artists, was employed about the year 350 in the decoration of the mausoleum at Halicarnassus.

The second leader of the Attic school, Praxiteles, seems to have been born in Athens about the beginning of the century, in the neighborhood of the year 392. Nearly allied to Scopas in his tendencies, he appears to be distinguished from him by greater versatility and an extraordinarily productive fancy. About fifty different works by him are mentioned, among them several groups of many figures each ; and if Scopas, almost without exception, made use of marble, Praxiteles, though he also gave this material the preference, executed many excellent works in bronze. In reviewing his creations, we find the greatest variety among them. Gods and men, male and female figures, youth and age, were within his power of representation ;

1 Denkmalei- der Kunst, Plate i8, Fig. 5.

Greek SciLlpture. — Praxiteles. 223

but he inclined especially to the softness and delicacy of femi- nine and youthful forms. Though he portrayed all twelve of the Olympic gods, — and especially Here, Athene, Demeter, and Poseidon, — Aphrodite and Eros were, nevertheless, his favorites ; and to other divinities, to Apollo and Dionysus, for example, he gave a youthful figure, the better to satisfy his tendency toward tender grace. Though we cannot doubt, from his bronze group of the Rape of Proserpine, his Maenads, and bacchanal Sileni, that he was capable of representing scenes of excited passion, yet the quiet of a soft and dreamy mood ex- alted into a gentle enthusiasm was the real atmosphere of his art.

Among his most celebrated works the Cnidian Aphrodite stands first, as one of the most famous art-creations of anti- quity.^ The old authors are filled with its fame ; and they relate that the Bithynian king, Nicomedes, offered the Cnidians the payment of their whole state-debt in exchange for this won- derful work. The artist had represented the goddess entirely nude, but had modified this bold innovation by making her left hand about to take up a garment, as though she had just emerged from the bath, while with her right she modestly shielded her person. The quiet of her posture was enlivened by a delicate sense of life, which gave to the outlines of the beautiful form a pleasant look of animation : the glance of the eyes had that liquid, melting expression, which, far removed from the mere craving of desire, might best convey the tender londns: of a groddess of love. However numerous may be the copies of this famous statue that have come down to us, they can, at best, only convey to us the outward characteristics of its atti- tude, not the exquisite purity of the work of Praxiteles himself.

Four other statues of the same goddess by Praxiteles were known to the ancients, especially a draped one at Cos, which the Coans preferred to that of Cnidos. Hardly less celebrated were his representations of Eros, among which the marble

1 Denkmaler der Kunst, Plate i8, Fig. 5.

2 24

History of Art.

statue at Thespia was most highly prized. The god was repre- sented ill the period of transition between boyhood and young manhood ; and it is possible that a torso, among the works pre- served in the Vatican, may give us, in its delicate youthful body

and the almost pathetic dreamy expression of the slightly-droop- ing head, an idea of this creation of Praxiteles. A third impor- tant work represented Apollo as the lizard-killer (Sauroktonos) ; a bronze statue, of which sev- eral copies in marble and bronze have been preserved. The ani- mated youthful figure, leaning against a tree, and watching, with an uplifted arrow in the right hand, for the little animal as it runs up the trunk, hardly conveys in its graceful play the element of divinity. Finally, among the figures which belong to the class of Bacchic subjects, the most celebrated was that of a young satyr, placed in a tem- ple in the Street of Tripods in Athens, which Pausanias calls "The Famous" (Periboetos). Numerous marble statues of a young and beautiful satyr — who, with his right arm resting upon a tree-trunk, leans upon it in pleasant, careless mood, with a half-dreamy look — seem rather to be modelled after another satyr by Praxiteles, which was set up at Megara (Fig. 121). There is no doubt that the soft, harmonious charm of all this master's works is aided by a


The Faun tif Praxiteles.

Greek Sailpture. — The Niobe Group. 225


peculiar, delicately-softened method of handling, full of ten- der grace, which brought out in its highest perfection the glow and the transparent polish of the Greek marble.

Among the works of the Attic school of this period which have come down to us, the most important are the bass-reliefs on the parapet of the Temple of Nike Apteros at Athens. Upon one fragment are seen two female figures, holding with vigorous action a struggling bull destined for the sacrifice the other is a female figure in a long, flowing garment, represented with an admirable expression of the very in- stant of action, as loosening with charming grace the sandal from her right foot (Fig. 122). Besides these, the bass-reliefs which decorate the frieze of the choragic monument of Lysikrates are full of animation, and not without a certain humor. They represent, in varied, charming, and spirited groups, the revenge of Bac- chus upon the Tyrrhenian pirates.

Another work of this class, famous even in ancient times, is especially noteworthy, though it has only come down to us in later and sometimes only mediocre copies, — the group of Niobe and her children. The original, brought from Asia Minor, was in the Temple of Apollo Sosianus at Rome : originally it probably orna- mented the pediment of some temple of Apollo in the Asiatic peninsula. Even the ancients were doubtful whether it was by Scopas, or Praxiteles ; and though, as far as we can judge, the weight of probability is in favor of the former, no cer- tainty can ever be reached in the matter. The subject is, as is well known, the vengeance of Apollo and Artemis upon the Theban queen Niobe, who had boasted, because of her

Fig. 122. From the Parapet of the Temple of Nike Apteros.

2 26 History of Art.

fourteen children, of her superiority over Leda, who had but two. This rashness was punished by the destruction of the whole blooming troop of Niobe's offspring. The figures of the mother with the youngest daughter, the children's tutor with the youngest son, and six other sons and three daughters, have been preserved from a later copy of the original group ; the principal figures, with that of the mother, being in the Uffizi Palace at Florence. There are, besides, in the Pinako- thek at Munich, the prostrate figure of a dead Niobide, and the torso of the figure called Ilioneus. It cannot be certainly ascer- tained whether the latter also belonged to the Niobe group ; but it so excels the other figures in beauty, that it must in any case be reckoned one of the rarest original works of that flourishing period of art. The vengeance of the merciless divinities has just begun. One son already lies stretched in death : the otli- ers, already struck or in immediate danger, fly to their mother for protection. One of them, in his flight, seeks to raise a sister sinking at his feet : another, fatally wounded, raises himself for a last defiant look toward heaven. In this general confusion, this terrible tragedy of anguish and despair, our eyes, with those of the children, seek the noble mother, who forms the central point of the whole. The reckless haste of their flight breaks upon her : she hides in her lap the youngest of her daughters, whose delicate childhood the avenging arrow has not spared. But while with her right liand she presses her fly- ing child to her with a mother's anguish, and bends lovingly over the shelterless one, she turns her proud head upward, and looks toward the avenging goddess with a glance in which deep agony and true nobleness of soul are wonderfully mingled, not to beseech her to have mercy (for she knows that she will find no sympathy), not to express defiance (for all defiance would be here but a sign of impotence), but to submit herself with heroic resignation, however she may be stricken with de- spair, to the inevitable (Fig. 123). In this one figure lies an atonement for all the terrible anguish that surrounds her. In

Greek Sculpture. — The Mausoleum.


her sublime bearing, in the true antique majesty with which she endures her fate, she raises us to that pure height of sym- pathy to which the tragedy of the ancients Ukewise carries us.

Fig. 123. Head of Niobe. Florence.

Finally, there also belong to Asia Minor a series of bass- reliefs which were discovered in Budrun (the ancient Halicar- nassus), and which, almost beyond a doubt, come from the famous mausoleum which Queen Artemisia of Caria built to the memory of her husband in 353 B.C., its sculptured orna- mentation executed by Scopas, Leochares, Timotheus, and Bry- axis.^ Several bass-reliefs of a frieze, with animated contests with Amazons, were carried at an early day to Genoa, and came into the possession of the Marchese di Negro : the other remains are in London in the British Museum. Though unequal in their

1 See C. T. Newton, A History of Discoveries at Halicaraassus. London, 1862.


History of Art.

execution, these works so distinctly breathe the living spirit of Scopas's art, that it cannot be denied that they formed part of the mausoleum (Fig. 124). Besides these reliefs from the frieze, fragments of lions, horsemen, and of the great marble quadriga with the statue of Mausolus which crowned the whole, have been discovered. The latter, almost completely restored, deserves notice as a most unique original portrait of that epoch.

Fig. 124. From the Mausoleum at Halicamassus.

In contrast to the art of the Attic school, the character of which must even now be called an ideal one, the art of the Peloponnesus remained, during this epoch, true to its older and more realistic tendencies. At the head of the Argive-Sicyonian school stands Lysippus, whose activity extended far into the time of Alexander the Great. He was not only one of the most influential, but also one of the most productive, artists of an- tiquity ; though the assertion that he produced fifteen hundred works is beyond doubt exaggerated. Working only in bronze, he was even in this respect opposed to the Attic school ; and

Greek Sculpture. — Lysippiis. 229

technically, too, he adopted the earlier style of the Pelopon- nesus. Though several statues of divinities are mentioned among his numerous works, — as, for instance, the colossal Zeus at Tarentum {sixty feet high), and the colossal figure of Herakles set up at the same place, — his art, nevertheless, inclined too strongly to the representation of the material — of the beautiful, well-developed human figure as a subject in itself — to permit him to excel in the domain of the ideal. It is equally character- istic of this tendency, that, of all ideal figures, his most frequent and most favorite subject was the representative of manly phys- ical strength, — Herakles: it was he, indeed, who first really and fully defined the hero's typical figure, and set forth his ex- ploits in bronze groups. This master was, however, most fertile in portrait-statues ; among which his numerous statues of Alex- ander were so admirable, that the great king desired that Lysip- pus only should thus portray him. In these productions, the most delicate individuality seems to have been successfully com- bined with a conception which approached the heroic. Compo- sitions of more extended design also belonged to this class ; such as a bronze group dedicated in Delphi, which represented a dangerous lion-hunt by Alexander, and his rescue by Craterus ; such, also, as the colossal monument representing the king in the battle on the Granicus, with twenty-five horsemen and nine foot-soldiers. In all these works, the vivacity and the minute and faithful execution were much praised ; a quality that was especially observable in the treatment of the hair. It was, how- ever, on the w^hole, the beauty and harmony of the human body, especially of the male body, to which the efforts of Lysippus were directed ; and we may remark, that, though he carefully kept in mind the proportions established by Polycletus, he never- theless remodelled them upon a new plan, and one better calcu- lated for effect : he formed the body more delicately, slightly, and elegantly, and made the head smaller in proportion to the trunk, than nature, as a rule, prescribes. In this regard, his Apoxyomenos — an athlete cleansing himself with the strigd


History of Art.

from the dust of the Palaestra — was especially admired in Rome. A masterly copy of it in marble, found in 1846 in Trastavere, and now an ornament of the Vatican Gallery (Fig.

125), shows clearly the fine elasticity and agile litheness of a young, beautiful, and per- fectly-developed body. If we add that Lysippus also repro- duced admirably, and with per- fect faithfulness to life, the figures of animals, we shall have fairly indicated the sphere of his activity.

Many able pupils adopted his methods, who devoted them- selves with peculiar lightness and delicacy to similar repre- sentations of youthful life. But the Attic school also extended its influence, in this epoch, over other branches of artistic effort ; and portraiture especially seems to have come more into vogue, in the sense of faithful, but by no means absurdly realistic, representation of the subject. Statesmen, orators, philoso- phers, poets, poetesses, and hetserae — for Praxiteles has not only portrayed his beloved Phryne, but had been allowed to set up her statue beside one of Aphrodite — are often and admirably reproduced in sculpture. To convey an idea of the noble conceptions of Greek portrait statues, we give (as Fig. 126) a drawing of the statue of Sophocles, which has come down to us (though clearly from a copy) as one of the most excellent works of

Fig. 125.

The Apoxyomenos, after Lysippus. Vatican.

Greek Sculpture. — Portraits. — FourtJi Epoch. 231

this character, and which now adorns the Lateran Museum in Rome (Fig. 126). The ^schines of the Naples Museum is an interesting companion to it. _

Besides these, the two seated statues of the comic poets Me- nander and Poseidippus, in the Vatican, deserve mention, as also the pathetic and powerful Euripi- des, the rough Demosthenes, and the crafty Phocion, in the same collection ; further, the notewor- thy figures of the serious Pindar and the fiery Anacreon in the Villa Borghese, and the Aristotle of the Spada Palace, and especial- ly the noble head of Homer, sev- eral times repeated, but most noticeable in the Capitoline Mu- seum and in Naples ; and, final- ly, the delicately-individualized tEsop of the Villa Albani.^

The Fourth Epoch,

following these two periods of highest vigor, comprises the time after the death of Alexander, and terminates with the conquest of Greece by the Romans. The

Fig. 126. The Statue of Sophocles. Museum.


[1 Few casts of the works of the eariier Greek art are to be found as yet in our country'. The Boston Museum contains many that are of great vahie and mterest. Some of these have been already mentioned. The Museum also contains casts of the I.udovisi Ares by Lysippus ; the Capitoline Aphrodite, the Praxitilean type ; four bass-reliefs and three fragments from the parapet of the Temple of Nike ; Niobe and one of her children ; Caryatide, from the Erectheium : the yEsop, from the Villa Albani ; the Sophocles, from the Lateran ; the statue of Mausolus; the Ludovisi Juno; the Vatican Jupiter; the Apoxyomenos. The Museum has also casts of the sculptures lately discovered at Olympia, and of the fragment of the frieze of the Mausoleum.

232 History of Art.

rule of Alexander had broken up the varied and individual life of the Greek races ; but, as some compensation for this, it had spread the influence of the Hellenic spirit far beyond the boundaries of Greece, till it extended deep into the Orient. What it thus gained in extent it lost in concentra- tion, purity, and independence. As it spread over the East, it absorbed in a great degree the influences of the region, and paid for this in the gradual loss of its- own peculiar energy. The destiny of the art of sculpture was changed by this circumstance. In the sundered and dismembered repub- lics of Greece there was now hardly any place for it, and the new-formed courts of princes became its refuge. Instead of constituting the glory of a free people, it fell into the service of rulers whose luxury and pomp necessarily gave it a tendency toward brilliant speciousness, mere outward effect, and methods characterized by mere skilful workmanship. Yet, in spite of this, Greek sculpture still retained such vitality, that it could add yet others to the domains of art it had already thoroughly conquered, and could create works which were long universally looked upon as its chief productions. The chief characteristic of these is an almost morbidly heightened passion, expressed in a certain audacity of method, and a kind of composition which tended very strongly toward the picturesque. Rhodes was the chief of the Greek states, and Pergamos the only one of the new courts where the art of this period attained to any impor- tant strength.

The school of Rhodes is shown to be a continuation of the Peloponnesian by the fact that we find at its head Chares, a pupil of Lysippus. The bronze colossus of the sun-god, one hundred and five Roman feet in height, which was overthrown by an earthquake soon after its completion, was his chief work, and the largest statue of ancient times. We can understand how great the taste for colossal statues, and the liking for effective treatment in their execution, must have been, from the assertion, that, besides this, a hundred others were erected on

Greek Sculpture. — The Laocom.


the Island of Rhodes. The same spirit is manifested in a dif- ferent way in the statue of " Athamas repenting his frenzy," a work of Aristonidas, in which it is said that iron was mixed with the bronze in order to give the appearance of a bhish of shame. The most famous work of the Rhodian school is the group of the Laocoon, executed by Agesandros, Athenodorus, and Polydorus, and discovered in 1506 at Rome : it is one of the most admired -of the chief treasures of the Vatican collection (Fig. 127). Pliny tells us that this group stood in the palace

Fig. 127. Group of the Laocoon. Vatican.

of Titus ; and, from an obscure expression in this passage, it has been concluded (wrongly, as we think) that it was origi- nally made to be placed in that palace. Laocoon was, as is well known, a priest of Apollo, and, because he had blasphemed against the god, was destroyed at the altar with his two sons, as he was about to offer a sacrifice to Neptune, by two serpents sent by the deity. This terrible incident, in its full -detail, is

234 History of Art.

represented with wonderful art ; and a closely-connected and interdependent group is formed from the three separate scenes, admirably worked to a climax, and setting forth with in- comparable power a moment of the most fearful suffering and horror. The two serpents have just wound themselves in un- yielding and inexorable folds about the three figures. Laocoon, powerless, is pressed against the altar, at the foot of which the younger son is breathing out his life with a last sigh under the serpent's cruel bite. The father cannot help him ; for he is him- self struck in the side by the deadly fang of the second serpent, so that he thrusts himself upward, convulsed by a spasm of pain, and twists his strongly-dilated breast toward the right. Overcome with the agony of death, his head thrown backward, he utters a shriek of anguish ; while his right hand, with an expression terribly true to nature, grasps the back of the head, and the left, with a convulsive, instinctive clutch, seeks to tear off the monster. The elder son, at his left, gazes up in horror at his father, while he vainly seeks with his hand to free his upraised left foot from the coils of the serpent, to whose rage he, too, is in a moment to fall a victim. All this is compressed into one moment, — turned into stone with fearful faithfulness. The whole pathos is concentrated in the powerful figure of the father. The whole treatment strengthens, by its almost exag- geratedly sharp, effective manner, the expression of perfect horror ; but we see in it nothing but purely physical suffering. The impression is a merely morbid one ; for no moral idea, no tragic conflict, no indication of fault or sin, is presented to us. And herein lie the limitations of this work, — its contrast to the Niobe and other productions of the earlier period. Still, both its composition and execution are, and will remain, masterly and admirable.^

[1 For an admirable criticism of this famous group, made the starting-point of a profound study of art in general, the student is referred here to Laocoon, an Essay upon the Limits of Painting and Poetry, by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. The best English translation is that of Ellen Frothingham. Boston : Roberts Brothers, 1874.]

Greek Sculpture. — The Farnese Bull. 235

Of precisely the same character, conceived in the same spirit, and executed with no less artistic skill, is another work belong- ing to the same epoch and school, the most colossal group of ancient times, — the group called the Farnese Bull, by Apol- lonius and Tauriscus of Tralles. According to Pliny's assertion, it belonged to Asinius Pollio at Rome : it was discovered in the sixteenth century in the Baths of Caracalla, and is now in the • Naples Museum. Although largely restored, it undoubtedly shows, in all essential points, the character of this period. The group had its origin in a local legend, according to which Zethus and Amphion, whose mother Antiope had been most cruelly tortured by Dirce, tied the latter to a bull, by which she was dragged to death ; this being the same terrible punishment to which she had destined Antiope but a short time before. We see the two noble youthful figures, every nerve strained, seizing the plunging bull by the horns, that they may bind the helpless and prostrate Dirce to them. In vain, in the agony of her despair, she clasps the knees of Amphion, and raises her be- seeching eyes, and lifts her outstretched right arm as though to ward away the danger : in but an instant more the furious brute will be set free, and drag the ripe beauty of the lovely, half-clad woman to a fearful death. Antiope, an exceedingly beautiful figure, stands quietly in the background, sure of her vengeance. A seated shepherd and a varied group of animals, carved with a free hand about the base of the group, serve to indicate the locality of the action. This work suffers from the same defi- ciency as the Laocoon : here, also, the expression of a moral idea is wanting, and our sympathy is awakened only through bodily action and suffering ; but in powerful boldness of composition, in thoroughness of execution, and harmony of grouping, as well as in the perfect knowledge and mastery displayed in the treat- ment of the iigures, this majestic work is perhaps even greater than the other.

The second great school of this epoch, that of Pergamus, seems to have distinguished itself especially in the representa-

236 History of Art.

tion of the battles of Attalus and Eumenes against the Gauls, whose swarming hordes, at about this period (about 240 B.C.), were overrunning Asia Minor. Pliny mentions several artists who were engaged upon these works, — Isigonus, Phyromachus, Stratonicus, and Antigonus. King Attalus caused four groups of statues to be set up upon the Acropolis at Athens, in memory of his great victory over the barbarians ; representing, beside his own successful battle with the Gauls, the triumph of the gods over the Titans, Theseus' conquest of the Amazons, and the victory of the Athenians over the Persians at Marathon. Following what had been from ancient times a favorite custom with the Greeks, he thus sought to find, in history, myth, and legend, parallels for his own recent achievement. The base — fifty feet long and sixteen feet wide — upon which this great monument rested was found not long ago near the southern wall of the Acropolis ; and a still more important discovery was that of a number of single figures, now scattered through dif- ferent museums, which clearly formed a part of the memorial of Attalus : four of them are in the Naples Museum, three in the Palace of the Doges at Venice, one in the Louvre, one in the Vatican, and a tenth in the possession of Castellani, the Roman jeweller. Those at Venice are the most interesting, for \\\ them the Gauls are represented with their ethnographic char- acteristics indicated with special exactness. In all probability, similar memorials of the victory over the Gauls were also erected in the city of Pergamus. We know nothing of their arrange- ment ; but their character and importance are clearly displayed in the statue of the Dying Gladiator in the Capitoline Museum (Fig. 128). This is undoubtedly a Gaul, who, seeing the foe approach in overwhelming force, has fallen upon his own sword to escape a shameful slavery. Overcome by the faintness of approaching death, he has fallen upon his shield ; his right arm with difficulty prevents his sinking to the ground ; his life ebbs rapidly away with the blood streaming from the deep wound beneath his breast ; his broad head droops heavily forward ; the

Greek Sculpture. — The Dying Gladiator. 237

mists of death already cloud his eyes ; his brows are knit with pain ; his lips are parted in a last sigh. There is perhaps no other statue in which the bitter necessity of death is expressed with such terrible truth, — all the more terrible because this hardy body is so full of strength, — because the impression conveyed is so little softened by any thing ideal, or by any harmonious beauty in the figure ; for the character of the barbarian, as contrasted with the refined and cultured Greek, is worked out most carefully in the treatment of the body, in the rough and even callous texture of the skin, the rugged

Fig. 12S. The Dying Gladiator, Rome. Capitoline Museum.

outlines of the frame, the bristling hair, and the distinct race- type indicated by the head. What a gulf there is between those Persian representations of the time of Marathon, with their com- plete idealization, and the sharply-individualized, thoroughly- historic accuracy of this statue of the Gaul !

Closely related to this, in character, material, and execution, is the marble group of a Gaul putting his wife and then himself to death, which is in the Villa Ludovisi at Rome, and is known as "Arria and Paetus." It is the same scene, only represented at another moment, and made more touching by a higher pathos, and by the expression of the very instant of suffering. The Gaul has just given his wife her death-blow, and she is falling lifeless at his feet, only her left arm still supported by his hand. The defiant warrior himself, his right hand raised high above


History of Art.

him, plunges his short battle-sword with one strong blow into his breast, in such stormy haste as though to snatch the last moment from the close-approaching foe. This work is equal to the other in sharp individuality, and in the accurate rendering of the figure.

Yet even in this later period the creative force of the Greek spirit was rich enough to produce one of the most famous works

of all antiquity, the expla- nation of which was long sought in vain, and only recently discovered by a for- tunate accident. This was the Apollo Belvedere of the Vatican ; or, to speak more accurately, the original which was the prototype of this and other imitations (Fig. 129). The god is represented step- ping lightly forward ; his beautiful, manly body naked, save for the light chlamys which falls from his left shoulder over the arm with which it was formerly sup- posed that he held his bow. The head, turned a little to- ward the side, is raised in an attitude full of spirit ; the clear eye seems to follow the effect of the arrow that has just left the string ; and an alert, vigorous life animates the proudly-parted lips, and breathes from the dilated nostrils. It is thus that one might picture the god of light at the moment when he had launched the fatal shaft against the Python, and his whole godlike beauty was still thrilling with the noble wrath that filled his soul. There is something won-

Fig. i2y. The Apollo Belvedere. Vatican

Greek Sculpture. — The Apollo Belvedere. 239

derfully striking, bold, and full of action, in the impression that the work produces ; and however much the rhythmic harmony of the form, the exquisite curve of the outlines, and the nobility of the whole structure of the body, may speak of the immortal beauty of the god, the observer is neverthe- less most delighted by the animated aspect of the head, the fiery life of the proud features. Schnaase rightly calls the Apollo the most brilliant piece of sculpture of ancient times ; and its excellences, as well as its limitations and the purely sub- jective character of its conception, are fitly characterized by this phrase. It cannot be denied that the effort of the artist to give the effect of the moment of action is carried so far as to pro- duce something startling and striking ; and, although the some- what theatrical impression which the statue makes may be brought about by the badly-restored hands and their peculiar spread-out position, a tendency in that direction is observable even without this damaging addition. The Apollo was discov- ered in Porte d'Anzo (the ancient Antium), a favorite resort of the earlier Caesars. Without being led by this fact to assign the statue definitely to their day, we may find reasons enough in the whole character of the work to attribute it to that epoch. That it is, however, only the copy of a Greek original, has only been proved by the discovery of other imitations, which may be traced back to the same work. The most important of these is a bronze statuette belonging to Count Sergei Stroganoff at St. Petersburg, and discovered at Paramythia, near Janina, in 1792.^ It gives precisely the same position and action of the god, but shows, that, instead of holding a bow in the broken and falsely- restored left hand, he held the aegis with the head of Medusa, which he was extending toward some enemy. Homer makes him thus put to flight the Achaians with the aegis intrusted to him by Zeus. Sophocles, in the King CEdipus, represents him

[1 For a full account of this bronze, see Apollon Boedromios. Bronze statue im besitz des Grafen Sergei Stroganoff, erlautert von Ludolf Stephani. St. Petersburg, i860. Witii four copperplate illustrations.]

240 ' History of Art.

thus opposing Ares, the bringer of the pestilence.^ But the key to a complete explanation of the statue was found, in this case also, in the conflicts with the Gauls, — in the invasion of Greece by the Gauls under Brennus in 2S0 B.C., which had for its chief motive the pillage of the temple at Delphi. The ^Etolians and their allies hurled their armies against the enemy, and defeated them overwhelmingly. But a pious legend had it, that Apollo himself came to the aid of his defenders with tem- pest, hail, thunder, and lightning, and that his shining form put the panic-stricken foe to hasty flight. To commemorate the vic- tory, a festival, celebrating the rescue, was appointed ; and the ^tolians, and their allies the Patraeans, erected statues to the god. Both the Stroganoff Apollo and the Belvedere are un- doubtedly traceable to one of these works ; and so, too, is the beautiful marble head which has passed from the hands of the sculptor Steinhauser into the possession of the Basle Museum. We owe our admiration to that vigor of Greek genius, which, even at this late period, could create a work of such a high ideal type.^


The life of the Greeks was so thoroughly penetrated with the

[1 Homer, Iliad, xv. 221 et seq., particularly 318-322. " As long as Phoebus Apollo held the segis unmoved in his hands, so long did the weapons reach both sides (i.e., Greeks and Trojans), and the people fell. But when, looking full in the face of the swift-horsed Greeks, he shook it, and he himself shouted very loudly, then he checked the courage in their breasts, and they became forgetful of impetuous valor." — Buckley's Translation. Bohn. London. Cf. the curious passage in Exod. xvii. 11, 12. Sophocles, CEdipus Rex. 204, Nauck's edition. ]

[2 A useful book for students, and one easily accessible, is the Cast Catalogue of Antique Sculpture, by William T. Brighani, A.M. Boston: Lee and Shepard. 1874. It contains good photographs of sixty-five marbles, statues, and busts, with two pages of miscellaneous subjects, chiefly illustrative of ornament. Good casts of nearly all the most famous antique sculptures are to be found in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington : but Mr. Brig- ham's book contains photographs of many casts that are not yet in our country ; and therefore it ought to be better known than it is, particularly as it is the only work of its kind. The pho- tographs are smaller than is desirable, and are, in some cases, not sufficiently clear ; while the objects in the two pages of ornament at the end are so small and so crowded as to be of com- paratively little use. J

Greek Sculphire. — Coins and Gems. 241

breath of art, that it sought to impress the stamp of beauty even upon all its practical needs. This is especially evident in Greek coins, though these displayed a greater variety and perfection in Graecia Magna and Sicily than in Greece itself. Athens, Argos, and Sicyon, the capitals of art during the most flourishing peri- ods, long preserved a very plain and antique style in the devices on their coins. In the most remote antiquity a rough form of bullion was in use, until the custom of coining money was brought from Asia, — first from Lydia to the Greeks of Asia Minor, and thence to those of the European continent. King Pheidon of Argos is said to have directed the minting of the first coins, in iCgina, in the eighth century, or, according to some authorities, not until the seventh. The oldest Greek coins of which we have any knowledge consist of thick, bean-shaped pieces of silver, bearing on their obverse the roughly-executed symbol of their city, and on the reverse nothing but the quad- rangular impression {qiiadratiim incusum) which the molten piece had received from the stamp. In Lower Italy and Sicily, on the other hand, thin round disks of silver were in use, upon which the figure was so stamped, that it generally showed on the reverse an indented repetition of the obverse. Such coins were called immmi incusi. In the fourth century a higher devel- opment appears in the coins of Pheneus and Stymphalos in Arcadia, and in those of the Islands of Naxos and Crete. In Magna Graecia and Sicily, however, the art of coinage was of considerable importance as early as the fifth century ; and in the next hundred years it attained a high stage of development in the spirited character of the work executed, in its variety and perfection of form. It is a peculiarity of all Greek coins, that they always bear the image of the special local divinity, or some emblem belonging to him. It is only with the period of Alex- ander and his successors that the heads of rulers begin to take the place of these figures of the gods. In Fig. 130 we give some examples from different periods of Greek coinage. To the earliest and simplest, only decorated with an emblem, be-


History of Art.

long {ci) one from ^gina, with the tortoise ; (^) one from Ephe- sus, with the bee ; {c) a Boeotian coin, with a shield ; {d) a coin attributed to Athens, with the antique mask of Medusa ; {e) one of Athens, with the sharply-drawn head of Pallas and the bird dedicated to her. A freer development, showing itself in life- like composition, purer drawing, and the filling of the space at command without crowding it, is displayed in (/) the coin of Se- linus, with Apollo and Artemis in their chariot, — reverse, the

tig. 130. Examples of Greek Coins.

river-god Sclinus at the altar of Asclepius ; in {g) that of Hera- cleia, with a noble head of Pallas, and Heracles strangling the Nemaean lion ; in {h) that of Pandosia ; ik) that of Platanas, with its beautiful head of Here ; and (z) that of Tarentum, with a kneeling satyr, and the mythical Taras, riding on a dolphin. Finally, an idea of coins of the last Greek epoch may be formed from /, with the head of Alexander, and in, bearing the head of Antiochus VH. (Euergetes), and a representation of the Athene of the Parthenon.

Greek Painting. 243

The numerous carved gems that have come down to us show a much greater and more varied wealth of artistic talent. In this department, work of the earlier epochs is comparatively rare ; and it is only in the later, more luxurious period that we find a multitude of the most delicate productions, — brilliant conceptions illustrating the most interesting passages of myth and legend. In the fourth century, Pyrgoteles was considered the most famous master of gem-engraving : he was the only one permitted by Alexander to engrave his portrait. Under Alexander's successors, in the gorgeous courts of the Orient, such luxury was developed in this branch of art, that gems and intaglios no longer satisfied it, and the so-called cameos were invented, — stones cut in high relief. In these, different stones with layers of different colors were the favorite material, their natural formation being used with such skill as to bring out a light carving against a dark background. The largest and most beautiful of these works is the Cameo-Gonzaga in the imperial collection in St. Petersburg, which is supposed to represent the heads of Ptolemy I. and his wife Euridice. A cameo of almost equal size, in the imperial collection at Vienna, bears the por- traits of Ptolemy II. and his queen.^


Among the Greeks, the development of the art of painting began much later than that of sculpture. It was the younger, but not, on that account, the less important art.^

[1 See a most excellent brief account of this subject by Charles G. Leland in Johnson's Cyclopaedia, art. Gem; in the Portfolio for February and March, 1875, '^ valuable article on Greek coins, with two pages of autotype illustrations, by H. Virtue Tebbs. In Mr. Ruskin's Aratra Pentelici there are some beautiful illustrations of Greek coins. See also C. W. King, Antique Gems and Rings. 2 vols. London, 1872. Millin : Introduction a 1' Etude des Pierres Gravees. Paris, 1796. Kohler Geschnittene Steine. St. Petersburg, 1851.]

2 The second volume of the History of Greek Artists, by H. Brunn (Stuttgart, 1859), offers the student the most comprehensive survey of Greek pamting.

244 History of Art.

Although in modern times doubts have often been cast upon the great aesthetic worth of Greek painting, yet the enthusiastic descriptions of the ancient authors, and their universal agree- ment as to the general high estimation in which works in this branch of art were held, should make us cautious, and guard us against adopting unfavorable judgments.

It is, indeed, difficult to follow the descriptions of the ancients, and next to impossible to gather even an approximate idea of these much-praised works of art, inasmuch as not a single one of them has been preserved, and we should be literally obliged to judge of their color as a blind man might. Notwithstanding this, a great number of paintings have come down to us, which, when their position is carefully considered in relation to ancient art-production as a whole, give us the means for an approximate estimate.

These are, on the one hand, the innumerable painted vases that are to be met with by the thousand in all European museums ; on the other, the rich treasures of fresco-paint- ing which have been discovered at Pompeii and some other places. But we must remember that all these works are either, like the vases, the product of skilled hand-labor, or else they are, like the frescos, showy decorative works, and pre- suppose, therefore, an incalculable inferiority in all respects to the creations of the great Greek masters. If, then, the paintings on the vases give, to say the least, evidence of an inexhaustible wealth of artistic motive, of an amazing strength of picturesque fancy, of great skill in arrangement and composition ; if, more- over, the better ones among them display an inimitable delicacy of drawing, an exquisite rhythm of lines, — this alone should be sufficient to convince us of the artistic importance of that multitude of pictures of which these are but weak copies. It is true that there is expressed in these works a picturesque, rather than a plastic power. In a single color, and with an equally monochromatic background, they do not rise above the level of reliefs ; and even fail to produce the effect of reliefs.

Greek Painting. 245

because of their lack of body. The case is different with the frescos which have come down to us from antiquity. Although, from a technical stand-point, they are not superior in character to simple works of decoration, they not only exhibit a delicate harmony, rich gradations, and a soft fusion of tints, but even a depth and fervor of expression that gives us a surprising retro- spect of the moving, whole-souled beauty of the masterpieces which have been lost forever. A full, warm, rich vividness of color, a delicate marking of forms by means of light and shade, and a studied chiaroscuro, are here the artistic principles on which these representations rest. Nevertheless, it is easy to see that we must refrain from measuring them by the standard of modern painting. No matter how much these paintings, so rich in color, may impress us with their harmony, there is want- ing in them that peculiar depth which can only be produced by a complete picturesque perspective. They are more nearly related to those laws which govern bass-reliefs than to free artistic development, and prove still further that the plastic principle is unmistakably stamped upon every production of Greek art.

In painting, as in sculpture, the chief materials for represen- tation were the myths and legends of gods and heroes. It was, however, from the very beginning, characteristic of the estima- tion in which painting was held, that sculpture was preferred to it for the actual representation of the divinities themselves, and for embodying the highest ideal expression ; and this branch of art, the older sister of the other, had the exclusive duty of producing such figures of the deities as were presented to the people for their worship. Shut out from competition in the highest employments of art, painting necessarily received a realistic tendency, which soon directed it toward the broad field of historical life and action, and toward the events of the day. Thus it happened that ancient art, besides pictures of the heroic class, produced also genre-pictures, caricatures, paintings of still- life, and other works of a lower order.

246 History of Art.

The technique of ancient art varies with the character and purpose of different works. The chief distinction was, of course, between frescos, and paintings upon tablets. The former were generally executed upon carefully-prepared and delicately-smooth stucco, with ordinary water-colors ; the latter upon wooden tab- lets, in tempera, — that is, in colors mixed with a kind of sizing. Encaustic painting — a method in which colors mixed with wax are applied with dry points, and then burned into a carefully- prepared surface — was only discovered when ancient art was at its highest perfection. This discovery, like that of oil-painting in more modern times, was brought about by the effort for realis- tic completeness, softer gradations, greater delicacy in mingling shades, and a more brilliant ensemble. Mosaic work, consist- ing of figures formed of various-colored stones joined together, appeared at a later day, but was only used for inferior purposes, especially for the more magnificent ornamentation of pavements.


The accounts of the ancients concerning the first discoveries which brought painting into being do not deal with mythical, but with definite historical names. Thus Cleanthes is said to have made the first silhouettes, and Telephanes to have further developed the art of linear drawing ; Ecphantus to have first introduced painting in a single color (monochrome) ; Eumarus of Athens to have been the first to distinguish man from woman by means of different colors. In the most ancient designs upon vases we find ample evidence of the condition of painting at that time ; and the lighter tint of the women and the darker complexion of the men show us in what the service rendered to art by Eumarus consisted. Soon after these first efforts and discoveries, a master appeared, whose celebrated works shed lustre on the age of Cimon. Polygnotus, a native of the Island of Thasos, seems to have been summoned to Athens by Cimon, about 462 B.C., for the purpose of adorning a number of the

1 Denkmiiler der Kunst, plates 20, 21, 22; also A, plate 11.

Greek Painting. — Polygnotus. 247

more beautiful edifices with paintings. Among other things, he, together with several fellow-artists, painted, in a hall to which the name of " Poikile " (the many-colored) was given, the battles of the Athenians with the Lacedaemonians, that of Theseus with the Amazons, the capture of Troy, and the battle of Marathon. He, and another Athenian master named Micon, represented in the Temple of the Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux) a series of episodes taken from the heroic legend. He also contributed to the paintings in the Temple of Theseus, to the Pinacotheca of the Propylsea, and to the vestibule of the Temple of Athene at Platea. But his paintings in the Lesche, at Delphi (a hall founded by the Cnidians), enjoyed the greatest fame. He here represented the taking of Troy, and the visit of Odysseus to Hades, in pictures rich in figures, and in multitudinous groups crowding one upon another. They were merely colored outline- sketches upon a dark background, without shading and model- ling, done with four colors only, entirely without perspective, and executed in simple relief. And yet, with all this strict sim- plicity in the treatment, the delicacy of drawing, the wealth of expression in the figures, and the nobility of the forms, were greatly praised. When, moreover, the eyebrows of his Cas- sandra are lauded ; when it is said of his Polyxena that the whole Trojan war could be seen in that virgin's eyelids ; when, especially, individuality (" Ethos ") is attributed to Polygnotus before all others, — we cannot but be convinced of the force and intellectual importance of his works.

Thus we see painting in this epoch applied to great com- memorative objects, held rigidly and simply to the representa- tion of historical events, and devoting itself to whatever in them is spiritual, and provocative of thought. But they are wanting in that more developed, more realistic character, which aims rather to attain whatsoever is imposing, inspiring, awe-awakening, than that which is attractive and varied. In its bald severity of treatment, it appears to bear some relation to the works of Chris- tian art in the first part of the middle ages ; but in the delicate

248 History of Art.

distinctness of its forms, and in the delineation of various states of feeling, it undoubtedly far surpasses them.

After this, painting passed through a further development of a mechanical and technical character. The Attic school con- tinued its efforts in this direction through the remainder of the fifth century. Attempts at illusory effect, at bringing perspec- tive into play, appeared in Agatharchus, who was employed in the decoration of theatres and in similar matters. But more important was the work of Apollodorus, who was the first to introduce a more picturesque arrangement and a more effective modelling of his figures by observing the effect of light and shade, and who acquired in this manner the name of " the painter of shadows."

After the Peloponnesian war, the art of painting deserted Attica for a time, only to make a far greater advance in the cities of Asia Minor, and especially in Ephesus. The merit of this Ionic school lies principally in a richer and more refined development of color, in a more finished modelling, and in the attainment of a more positive illusory effect. During this pe- riod, painting, like sculpture, began to concern itself more with ordinary life, and the fulfilment of secular and private aims ; and painting upon panels began gradually to take the place of fresco- painting. Many anecdotes of the artists of this epoch give evi- dence of their efforts for the accurate imitation of nature ; as, for instance, the well-known story of the wager between the two chief masters of this school, Zeuxis and Parrhasius, the former of whom painted some grapes which the birds pecked at, while the latter, by painting a curtain hanging over this picture, suc- ceeded in deceiving even his rival himself.

Zeuxis of Heraclea, probably a native of Graecia Magna, dis- played great activity at Ephesus during the later years of his life. Not only were delicate attractiveness and womanly grace to be found in his pictures, — as, for instance, in that of Helen, for which the inhabitants of Croton allowed him to make use of the most beautiful and most noble virgins of the city as

Greek Painting. — Zeuxis. 249

models, — but he also succeeded most admirably in giving a life- like expression to situations full of vivacity and meaning ; as in the case of his picture of a centaur family, which is so well described by Lucian.' We have another illustration of this in the report that he died of laughing over a picture of an old woman that he had painted. In rivalry with him, Parrhasius the Ephesian developed a style of art which was not less ad- mired. According to the account of Pliny, he was the first to apply the law of proportion to painting, lending refinements of expression to the face, elegance to the hair, a winning charm to the mouth, and, as the artists themselves admitted, bearing off the palm for his outline drawings. A delicacy of form, a keen

[1 An Italian writer thus paraphrases Lucian's description : " In a leafy thicket filled with flowers he painted a female centaur, the equine half of her body resting on the ground in such a way that her hind-feet were seen under her crupper. The womanly half was erect, gently supporting itself on the elbow. The fore-feet were not stretched out in front, as those of a horse who is lying on his side are wont to be : but one was bent, as if she were kneeling, with the hoof drawn under her ; while the other, on the contrary, was lifted, and pressed upon the ground, as a horse will do when he is about to rise. With her were two little centaurs : one of them she held to her breast and nursed as if she were a human mother; the other pulled away at the mare's teat as if it were indeed a foal. In the upper part of the picture, a centaur, the husband of this centauress, is seen to have left a company of his fellows with whom he is coursing, and comes laughing up to his family. The painter does not let us see him wholly, but hides the horse-half of him with the bushy screen, and makes him hold in his right hand a lion-cub he has caught : he lifts it up as if he were trying to frighten his young ones with it. Zeuxis showed wonderful skill in the way in which he discriminated between the different char- acters of the actors in his story. He made his centaur rude and stern, and somewhat clownish, with his hair in disorder, and his skin harsh and rough, not only where he was horse, but where he was man, and with his face above his lifted shoulders, —although it was laughing, —y^t altogether bestial, savage, and cruel. Thus he painted the centaur. The female was shaped like a beautiful mare, — most like those of Thessaly, who are unused to bear burdens. The woman-half of her was of e.xtraordinary beauty, excepting only the ears, which the artist left hairy, and not well shaped. But the joining of the parts where the woman's body passed into that of the horse and united itself with it, not all at once by a marked division, but little by little, and insensibly changing, transformed itself from one shape to the other so gently, that the eye of the spectator could not follow it. The little centaurs were like their mother in their color : but, nevertheless, one was all his father in his roughness ; and, tender as he was in years, was yet withal somethmg savage and dangerous to look at. But what everybody found very admirable was the closeness with which Zeuxis had observed nature and the ways of children ; for he painted these little creatures looking steadily at the lion<ub their father held up, and yet never moving their mouths from their mother's breasts." - Vite del Pittori Atiiichi Greet e Laiini. By Delia Valle. Siena, 1795.]

250 History of Art.

observation of light, shade, and reflection, and a masterly em- bodiment of psychological expression, seem to have been his chief characteristics. This last trait is very plainly to be ob- served in the accounts of the ancients concerning a picture in which he embodied all the contradictory qualities belonging to the character of the Athenian people. In another picture he painted two boys, in whom were exhibited all the confidence and frankness of boyhood. Among his scenes from the lives of heroes there are several, such as the assumed insanity of Ulysses and the one known as the suffering Philoctetes, which indicate, in the choice of their subjects, the tendency toward the delineation of strong emotion.

Timanthes, who did not indeed belong to the Ionic school, but who once took part in a competition with Parrhasius at Samos, is to be counted among the more celebrated contempo- raries of these two masters. He is especially praised for the power of his imagination, as well as for the depth and signifi- cance of his intellectual conceptions. His picture of the sacri- fice of Iphigenia was much admired, in which his masterly skill intensified the expression of pity and grief, and touchingly con- veyed the supreme anguish of the father, Agamemnon, by de- picting him with veiled head. It is thought that a copy of this work is preserved in one of the Pompeian frescos, differing somewhat, to be sure, in its details, and poorly executed.

The same contrast that exists between the sculpture of the Attic school and that of the Peloponnesian exists also between the painting of the Ionic and the school of Sicyon. A more scientific training, more strongly-defined, characteristic drawing, with deep, effective coloring, appear to be its distinctive features. At its head stood Eupompus, known by his painting of a con- queror at the Olympic games. His pupil, Pamphilus, seems to have laid the foundation of a more thorough school of painting by the introduction of scientific studies, and appears to have been a teacher who was eagerly sought after. Melanthius is praised for the composition of his pictures ; and Pausias for his

Greek Painting. — Apelles and Proto genes. 251

skill in foreshortening and in the painting of vaulted roofs, as well as for the particularly delicate execution of his encaustic work.

Apelles, who lived in the latter half of the fourth century, and who knew how to combine the excellences of the Ionic and Sicyonian schools, brought Greek art to its highest perfection. He seems, like an antique Raphael, to have lent to his works a finished charm, and that delicate spirit of beauty which can only arise from a combination of exquisitely-yielding forms with a subtle fusion of tints, and a noble, full-souled conception. The irresistible charm of his works consisted in the harmony of their proportions. The most celebrated among them was the Aphrodite rising from the sea, and wringing the water from her hair with her hands. Painted originally for the Temple of yEs- culapius at Cos, it was brought to Rome and placed in the Tem- ple of Caesar by Augustus, who allowed the people of Cos, as indemnity for it, a reduction of one hundred talents in their tribute. Afterwards, when the picture had suffered some dam- age, no artist dared to undertake its restoration. Another of his pictures was a representation of Calumny. Besides this, he painted the gods and heroes, and innumerable portraits of Alex- ander, who would never consent to be painted by any one but Apelles. He also painted for the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus the great king, holding the lightning in his hand ; and so im- pressive was the expression of this picture, that Alexander said in regard to it, that there were two Alexanders, — the uncon- quered son of Philip, and the inimitable one of Apelles.

Among the contemporaries of Apelles, Protogenes was so admirable, that even a man like Apelles stood gazing upon a picture of lalysus painted by him, as if petrified with admira- tion.

Action, whose picture of Alexander and Roxana was highly praised, was also an excellent painter. Antiphilus, too, enjoyed great celebrity, although he showed a preference and great apti- tude for a somewhat coarser, lower order of painting ; namely,


History of Art.

for caricature, effects of light, and scenes of every-day life. Theon was another artist of the time, who was distinguished for the effective way in which he represented such incidents as were characterized by life and movement.

A few relics of this epoch have been discovered in the sepul- chral vaults at Paestum, among them scenes of the noblest beauty and the deepest expression ; as, for instance, the repre- sentation of a youth

y^iy \ / \^ -'-s carrying his wounded

companion on horse- back from the fight, now to be found in the museum at Naples.

(Fig. 131)-

In the age which followed that of Alex- ander, an effort after realism, combined with a partiality for repre- sentations of low life, for genre-painting and still-life, became grad- ually apparent. From the accounts of the ancients, we are jus- tified in believing that this province of painting, the so-called "rhyparography," was also brought to a high state of perfection. The greatest fame in this department was acquired by Piraicus, whose barbers' shops and shoemakers' stalls, still-life, and other sketches of a humble order, but of great delicacy of execution, commanded, according to Pliny, higher prices than the more elaborate pictures of many other artists.

Yet there were still masters who accomplished much that was admirable in a higher genre, among whom Timomachus is the last conspicuous example. From him we have an Aias and the Medea, which was purchased by Caesar for eighty talents, and set up in the Temple of Penus Genetrix ; and, besides these,

Fig. 131. Wall- Painting from Pxstum.

Greek Faulting. — Mosaic Vase- Painting. 253

an Iphigenia in Tauris, who, about to sacrifice her brother, is represented as filled with conflicting emotions. This passionate inward strife must have shown itself still more decidedly in the Medea, who was portrayed at the moment before her cruel deed, holding the sword in her hand, but hesitating whether to plunge it into the breasts of her own children. A copy of this picture is perhaps to be recognized in a fresco at Pompeii, now in the Muse- um of Naples (Fig. 132).

In this age of increasing luxury, mosaic- work appears to have been developed.

Among the masters of this art, Sosos is

especially extolled, who executed at Per-

gamus " The Unswept House ; " so called

because he showed upon the floor, in a

very skilful manner, the remains of a

meal, and such things as are generally

left scattered about. Tricks of that sort

pleased the masses then as now. Especial

admiration was excited in this work by

some doves, sitting drinking or sunning

themselves on the edge of a vessel of

water ; a representation whose fidelity to

nature can be judged of by a copy preserved in the Museum

of the Capitol at Rome.

Fig. 132.

Wall-Painting from Pompeii.


Finally the painted vases should be mentioned, which not only offer us in their forms admirable illustrations of the delicacy of the Greek sense of beauty, but are also of great importance, because of the designs upon them.^ When we

1 For an account of the historical development of vase-painting, see O. Zahn's description of the painted vases in the royal Bavarian collection. Beschreibung der Galerie bemalter Vasen


Histojy of Art.

tig- '33- I'lii; Dodwell Vase, now at Munich.

think that these works are merely the products of mechanical skill, we cannot but be forced to admire these designs, often of unsurpassed freedom and beauty.

The most ancient style includes those simple vessels of moderate size that were formerly in- correctly said to be of Egyptian pat- tern, but are now more j) r o p c r 1 y classed as Phoe- nician, and regard- ed as productions of primitive Corinthian work-shops (Figs. 133, 134). They are fash- ioned in ])lain and but slightly-developed proportions from clay of a yellowish or pale reddish color, and are painted in brown and black tints, with which violet and white are sparingly mingled. Horizontal stripes form ^'s- ■34- Greek Vases of

' the Oldest Style.

one or more friezes, encircling them like bands, that are either filled in with rosettes, or with lotus or other flowers, or with pictures of animals of a fantastic character. In the arrangement and form of this ornamentation, it is impos-

der koniglichen bayerischen Sammlung. Miinchen, 1854. [An excellent work is one just pub- lished, — Theodor Lau, Die griechischen Vasen ihr Fornien- und Dekorations System. This work consists of forty-four plates (small folio), printed in colors, showing vases belonging to the royal collection of vases at Munich, many of them described in O. Zahn's work above cited. There is an historical introduction by Prof. Dr. H. Brunn, and an illustrative commen- tary by Prof. P. F. Krell. Leipzig : S. A. Seeniann, 1877. .See also the splendid ])ublication of Hamilton, — Antiquites Etrusques, Grecques, et Rom., tirees du Cabinet de M. Hamilton, 1766-67, 4 vols. ; and the smaller but exquisitely-illustrated work by Henry Moses, — A Col- lection of Antique Vases, Altars, Paterae, &c., engraved on one hundred and seventy plates. London: H. G. Bohn, 1814. See also in Birch's History of Pottery, London; Jacquemart, La C6ramique, 1 vol., Paris, English translation, London and New York ; Les Merveilles de la C^ramique, 3 vols., Paris ; and A. Demmin, Guide de I'Amateur de Faiences et Porce- laines.]

Greek Painting. — Painted Vases, 255

sible to overlook the influence of an older Asiatic art. In contrast with this most ancient and undoubtedly Doric style is another, most probably the old Attic, which is closely related to the former so far as color goes, but in its better proportions, and the greater dimensions of the vessels, as well as in its representation of gods and heroes, marks the transition to a succeeding period. The figures on these vases are sometimes stiff and lifeless, sometimes awkward and angular ; the forms of the bodies are defined with unnatural sharpness ; and the garments hang in regular folds.

Then come the vases of the antique style, in which the form is not only more varied, and the different work upon them more lifelike and beautiful, but in which also a simplification of the older colors and the use of more tasteful and brilliant tints mark the progress toward the pure Hellenic manner. Ornaments used merely for the purpose of filling in are abandoned, and the carelessness with which they were disposed is now replaced by an arrangement which gives them more meaning. The designs are admirably distributed over the space to be occupied ; and the shining black in which they are painted is sharply relieved against the deep red of the ground of the vase. The figures themselves, however, retain in all respects the severe immo- bility, the strongly exaggerated characteristics, that are peculiar to the archaic style of Greek art.

A further stage of development can be traced in those vases which are completely covered with a fine polished black, from which the lifelike figures stand out in the fine red color of the clay. The character of these designs shows the transition going on within this class from a severe style to one of finished beauty (Fig. 135 b, c, d), which shows by its noble freedom of movement in the figures, their tasteful distribution over the surface of the vase, and by the delicate curve of its lines, that it is a product of a golden age of art. These classical produc- tions of Grecian art are followed in the latest epoch by works of a more elaborate style, in which the noble Greek symmetry of


History of Art.

the work as a whole, and its adornment, give place to an ex- aggerated richness, that finds expression as well in enormous ornamental vessels, sometimes five feet in height, as in an over- luxuriant superfluity of ornament (Fig. 135 a). The polished black background of the preceding epoch is still retained, and

Fig- «35.

the figures stand out in the red color of the ground. But in the frequent use of other colors, especially of a pale yellow and white, as well as in the plentiful employment of luxuriant gar- lands of flowers and leaves, an admixture of foreign elements is again apparent. Indeed, these vases have mostly been found in Southern Italy, in Apulia and Lucania. Their subjects, too,

Greek Painting. — Painted Vases. 257

consist, for the most part, of scenes from the legends of the heroes, although they often drop into the fashion of a later time by representing scenes of common life in great variety. The figures are drawn in a spirit of bold and even elegant concep- tion, but, as a rule, with a certain dilettanteism that not unfre- quently degenerates into superficialness and carelessness. The epoch after Alexander, about the time of the Roman rule, is the most flourishing period of this latest phase of vase-painting.



The position of Italy resembles, in some respects, that of Greece. Separated from the northern countries of Europe by the lofty range of the Alps, it extends southward in a long and narrow peninsula. Here, as in Greece, the mildness of the climate favored the early attainment of a high stage of civiliza- tion. The situation of the country, washed on all sides by the sea, encouraged trade and navigation. But its greater distance from the Orient, the primeval scene of human development, made the intervention of the Greeks indispensable to the spread of general culture. Thus we find Greek colonies taking root in Southern Italy at a very early day, and not only extending into Sicily, but taking possession of the coasts of the lower penin- sula, or Graecia Magna as it was called.

The regions of Central Italy were, however, in early times, less subject to these foreign influences. Divided by the Apen- nines and their many outlying spurs into a multitude of inde- pendent districts, they, like Greece, offered excellent opportunity for the varied development of different races. Though most of them, as their language shows, belonged to the same parent- stock from which the Greeks also sprung, the ancient Etruscans, with their still undeciphered language, their widely-different manners and customs, and their dissimilar forms and features, occupy, in the heart of Italy, the position of an absolutely inde- pendent and distinct people. They inhabited the region bounded by the Tiber, the Tyrrhenian Sea, and that branch of the Apen- nines which stretched in a wide arc between them, the greater 258

The Etrtiscans. 259

part of which (the modern Tuscany) preserves even in its name the memory of the ancient Tusci.

Whatever may have been the fables and theories current as to the origin of this mysterious people, — for the puzzled learn- ing of modern scholars has made almost every race of antiquity stand sponsor for them, — the obscurity surrounding it has never been dispelled ; and the only theory which daily gathers proba- bility is, that they came from the mountainous region to the north. The Etruscans seem, at a very remote period, to have migrated southward, attracted by the beauty of the country, and to have founded permanent settlements in Central Italy. That they came as conquerors, making an armed invasion of the region, may be inferred from the steep, impregnable sites of their ancient cities, which were united in a defensive alliance. As there was no higher bond of unity among them than this loose treaty, it is not to be wondered at that they were com- pelled to yield to the repeated onslaughts of the Romans in their early struggle for political leadership. After their subju- gation, the race gradually disappeared from history as it had entered it, leaving no trace behind, and without handing down, either in political institutions or the productions of an independ- ent literature, a single evidence of their existence. It is only in the wide-spread burial-places in Central Italy that we find proofs of their having a system of architecture of their own, as well as some works showing artistic capacity, — earthen ves- sels, stone sarcophagi, bronze castings, frescos, and valuable articles of jewelry. Many of these unmistakably show Greek influences : in others there is an undeniable originality. The Etruscans appear in these pictures as a thick-set, broad-shoul- dered, unwieldy race of men, differing completely in this respect, as well as in the compressed and flat formation of the heads and the projecting jaw and retreating forehead, from the con- formation of the people of the Greek races. Their character also seems to have become distinct from that of the other Italian and Grecian inhabitants. In their religious beliefs there was an

26o History of Art.

element of dark superstition, which sought to foretell the future by the study of omens. They held a dualistic belief, which ac- knowledged the existence of good and bad spirits that accom- pany human beings, and that seek, as is proved by the frescos in the sepulchres, to possess themselves of the souls of the dead. Further : a tendency to dark and troubled speculation upon the condition which awaited them after death added another to those traits in their character and disposition which furnished such deep and gloomy contrasts to the cheerfulness of the Hellenic religion. That idealistic conception which saw in the gods an elevation and etherealizing of human conditions had no place in the character of the Etruscans ; and, with it, all exalted consecra- tion and earnestness of thought were lacking in their art. After- wards, it is true, they, like all other Italian races, borrowed from the Greeks not only artistic forms, but also the material of their legendary and mythological traditions ; but, by doing so, they really grafted a foreign branch upon the growth of their own art, which at length completely overran and stifled its independ- ent existence.

We should never have known that the Etruscans possessed the art of building temples, had this not been shown to be the case by descriptions in various writings, especially in those of Vitruvius. The Etruscan temple, like the Grecian, had its ori- gin in a wooden structure, such as is common to all mountain races ; but only a part of it was afterward more completely de- veloped by the use of more solid and permanent material. The entire upper part retained the wooden construction ; and this distinction prevented the whole from presenting an harmonious and thoroughly artistic appearance. The realistic and the prac- tical took precedence, as was in accordance with the character of the Etruscans. All conception of any thing ideal was denied to this people ; and, in order to indicate the great importance of a building, they could only deck it with rich ornamentation, but could not transform the very necessities of its construction into something noble and beautiful.

Etruscan Art. — Their Architecture.


An almost perfect square formed the ground-plan of their temples, the front part of which was occupied by a pillared ves- tibule, while the remainder was divided into three parallel apart- ments, the middle one being broader than those at the sides. Each of these had a separate entrance opening on the vestibule, and each had its special sacred image. The whole was sur- mounted by a high roof, the ponderous gable of which rose above slim columns, placed at wide intervals apart, and above the conspicuously projecting ends of the cross-beams. We can form no idea of the artistic execution of this broad, clumsy, un- graceful mass, although some remains that have been discovered give indications of a certain delicacy of form in the pedestals and capitals of the columns. Some fa- cades of sepulchral vaults, especially those at Norchia (Fig. 136), show us this frame- work adorned with misunderstood forms of Grecian architecture, especially with friezes divided by triglyphs. The point of the gable as well as its extremities, and the field of the pediment itself, were richly ornamented with figures of terra- cotta. It is certain that the Romans

adopted the Etruscan style of temple architecture in the earli- est periods of their history, and that their most ancient temple, that of Jupiter Capitolinus, was thus built.

Of another kind of Etruscan structures, on the other hand, there is still a great number preserved.^ These are the burial- places everywhere found in ancient Etruria. The simplest

Dj^ ,n n, ruimn-

  • VV'^

Fig. 136. From the Facade of a Tomb at Norchia.

1 See Denkinaler der Kunst, plate 24; also A, plate 12. Micali, Storia degli antichi popoli Italian!. By the same author, Monumenti inediti. Florence, 1844. Inghirami, Monu- menti Etruschi, 10 vols. Fiesole, 1825. [The traveller should not fall to visit in Florence the Etruscan Museum, where a most curious and interesting collection of antiquities is arranged in a clear and scientific manner. The Campana collection in the Louvre is of the highest value. There is also in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts a small but well-chosen and rare collection of Etruscan objects, many of them not found in any museum but those of Florence and the Louvre.]


History of Art.

among them belong to that primitive type that remains in every part of the world as an evidence of the oldest forms of civiliza- tion. They are grave-mounds of earth and stone, often of large dimensions, and sometimes provided with a regular foundation of masonry. The interior contains a sepulchral chamber, which is oftentimes roofed by overlapping circles of stone. Sometimes the top of these mounds is surmounted by cone-shaped memo- rial columns, to all appearance formed after a primitive Italian

i' is- 137- Sepulchral Chamber at Cervetri.

model that was still to be seen in the spina of the circus, even in the later times of the Romans. The most imposing of these monuments is that which goes by the name of the Cucumclla, at Vulci. The so-called Muraghia, on the Island of Sardinia, bear a certain relationship to these architectural works, being conical stone buildings resembling towers, and containing sev- eral chambers one above the other, and vaulted, according to the primitive method, by overlapping the layers of stone.^

1 These monuments are by some ascribed to the Phoenicians ; and certainly we have foimd among these people similar cone-shaped tombs. See Fig. 48, p. 80.

Etruscan Art. — Their Tombs.


Other Etruscan tombs are hewn out of the rock like grottos, forming either simple sepulchral chambers, or a series of con- nected rooms. The roofs in these are often supported on pillars or columns ; and occasionally a neat imitation of wooden rafter- work is seen upon the ceiling (Fig. 137). Tombs of this sort contain in the principal chamber the walled-up resting-places of the dead, whose body was generally laid at full-length, in com- plete armor, and with his weapons placed beside him. Vases and other vessels stand about, and the walls arc often ornamented with figure -painting. Graves of this sort have been found at

Fig. 13S. Facndc of Tomb at Castellnccio.

Corneto (the ancient Tarquinia), Vulci, Cere, and at some other places. These monuments, that remind us so vividly of the Egyptian necropolises, possess a still greater importance when they are adorned on the outside by separate facades chiselled out of the rock (Fig. 138). A heavy cornice, consisting of several gracefully-rounded parts, makes an appropriate border for the facad'e ; but in the middle a false door has been hewn out, which narrows toward the top, and the outer border of which projects at the upper corners. A number of such monuments have been discovered in secluded mountain-ravines at Norchia and Castel-

264 History of Art.

laccio, as well as in some other places in the neighborhood. In two of those at Norchia that temple-like construction of the facade has been employed which betrays an adoption of Greek forms.

The art of defensive architecture was also, to some extent, artistically developed among the Etruscans. It is easy to dis- cern in the ancient city-walls of Cossa, Populonia, Tolli, and other places, the progress from the polygonic, cyclopean method of building, to the use of regular square blocks. In the gates, on the other hand, we sometimes encounter, for the first time in the progress of architecture, a form of construction, the dis- covery of which undoubtedly belongs to the clever, industrious Etruscans, and from whose introduction is to be dated a new and wonderful development. Here for the first time we find arches formed of artificially wedge-shaped stones, which sub- stitute for the primitive unity of the architrave the artificial union of a series of closely-connected parts, which, by their pressure upon one another, form a firmly-cemented vaulting. Of this sort is the ancient gate of Volterra, in which the keystone and the two end stones of the arch are emphasized by two out- stretched heads, simple, but full of expression. The Cloaca Maxima at Rome, a sewer built in the sixth century in the time of the Tarquins, is one of the boldest and most important ex- amples of this kind of arch. A similar arch is also shown in the Career Mamertinus, on the steep slope of the Capitoline Hill ; while the primitive spring-basin of the Tullianum below it is covered with overlapping horizontal layers of stone. Thus Etruscan architecture, by making an advance so important as in itself to mark an epoch, has won a permanent place in art- history.

In plastic art the Etruscans were chiefly famous for their works in metal and baked clay.' The latter were largely used in the decoration of temples ; but even statues of the gods were made of similar material. Thus the statue in the Temple of

1 See Denkmaler der Kunst, plate 25.

Etruscan Art. — Terra- Cotta and Bronze. 265

Jupiter Capitolinus, as well as many others, was of clay. Much of this kind of work is to be found in the Italian museums ; but it all shows a somewhat rough and unpolished style, and an awkward, clumsy, and often really erroneous treatment of the body. To this branch of industry also belong the vases found in the tombs ; sometimes cineraria, the covers of which are formed of grotesque representations of human heads ; and sometimes vessels of unbaked black earthenware, decorated with rather roughly-executed reliefs. In some of them the stem and handle are formed of figures ; and the whole is so tastelessly overloaded with ornament as to give them an impres- sion of fantastic oddity. The Campana collection, now in the Museum of Napoleon III. at Paris, is rich in examples of this kind of coarsely-overloaded Etruscan ornamental work.

Modelling in clay soon led the Etruscans to the art of casting in bronze, which they developed with great mechanical skill, and for which they showed special liking. In original works, and for decorative objects, this more beautiful material, often made still more brilliant by gilding, soon took the place of clay. The Etruscan towns were filled with thousands of bronze statues ; and for a con- siderable period the Etruscans supplied the Romans with works of this description. Among the larger bronze castings which de- serve mention are the Mars of Todi, in the Museum of the Vatican ; a boy carrying a goose upon his arm, in the Ley den Museum ; and a draped male figure in the Ufifizi Palace in Florence (Fig. 139),^ as well as the fantas- tic representation of the Chimaera in this same collection, and the She-Wolf in the Capitoline Museum. The limits of the artistic talent of the Etruscans is clearly shown in these works, the figures

Fig. 139. The Etruscan Orator, Florence.

1 A cast of this figure is in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Charles Sumner Fund,


History of Art.

of animals being marked by a strong, realistically-expressed likeness to life, even though treated in a crude, rigid style ; while in the human figures, combined with an awkward, stiff modelling, and an exaggerated attention to details, there is a hard, lifeless character, in which the breath of a free inspira- tion is entirely wanting. Besides these larger works, there is a multitude of smaller bronze statuettes scattered about the differ- ent museums ; but they rarely have any great artistic value.

The talent of the Etruscans appears to much better advan- tage in all those fields which are outside the domain of truly

Fig. 140. Relief on Etruscan Tomb.

ideal art, but in which mechanical skill can excel ; as in weapons and ornaments, helmets, shields, and armor, or in vases and jewelry. These, though they may want the delicate grace of the Greek mind, have a lasting worth because of their neat workmanship, and a certain fancy displayed in their modelling. Many such works are richly ornamented with engraved designs, of which we shall speak later. A good many works of sculp- ture in stone have also come down to us, among which those carved on altars and grave-stones appear to be especially ancient (Fig. 140). They deal mostly with religious ceremonies, dances.

Etruscan Art. — Sarcophagi and Gems. 267

and processions, especially with the forms and ceremonies of a highly-developed cult of the dead. The heavy and stunted look of the figures, the arrangement of the feet in profile, while the trunk of the body is often seen in full-face, and many similar characteristics, give these works a strong resemblance to those of Oriental and archaic Greek art, although their composition undeniably inclines to a more crowded and picturesque arrange- ment. The numerous cinerary urns that have been found, and which are, for the most part, made of alabaster, and richly adorned with colors and gold, belong, on the other hand, to a much later time, — probably to the last epoch of Etruscan activ- ity in art. They are made in the shape of small sarcophagi, bearing on the lid the figure of the dead person stretched at length in a position of comfortable repose ; and on the sides a number of devices in relief, that relate to mythical subjects, or to the. life of the soul in the lower regions. Done in a rude and mechanical fashion, they betray slight anatomical knowledge, and, as a rule, an overloaded, picturesque arrangement ; and all this with a weakness in the expression of forms that plainly in- dicates an epoch of decline. Thus Etruscan sculpture, just as it was incapable of a truly ideal conception, seems to have been unable to find a golden mean between a hard and dry and a weak treatment.

Finally, the carved gems, which belong to a later period of Etruscan art, are also to be noticed. As regards form and sub- ject they are under the influence of Greek art, and follow more especially the archaic style. The designs are borrowed from the myths of the Greeks, and the treatment is conscientious and finished ; yet it is impossible to deny a tendency toward what is forced and exaggerated.

If a leaning toward picturesque conception can be discerned even in the plastic works of the Etruscans, the great quantity of paintings that have been discovered offer a complete proof of the partiality with which this art was cultivated among them. The walls in the under-ground sepulchres are, as a general


History of Art.

thing, covered with paintings that afford us an actual view of the style of Etruscan pictorial art. They are colored outline- sketches, simply executed in briglit, pleasing colors ; represen- tations taken from matters of every-day life, — dances, tourna- ments, and hunts, banquets and festivals, preparations for chariot-racing, and subjects of that sort, — all full of life, but exhibiting a certain sharpness of manner, and looseness of move- ment, that recall their primitive archaic models (Fig. 141). As a rule, green branches are arranged between the figures to fill out the space and to mark the separation. Quite often a fantastic, one might almost say a comic element, is added, which finds

'>. »'^>,

Fig. 141. Etruscan W.ill-Painting.

expression in a facetious exaggeration of the movements de- picted. But scenes of a more serious nature are also frequently to be found, taken from the cult of the dead, and representing ceremonies at a burial, or the fortunes of the soul after death. We see here the good and evil geniuses in their respective em- ployments : in one case, the covered figure of the deceased being carried away in a chariot ; in another, the evil genius sitting at the door of the nether world ; and so forth. Then, again, we see the evil spirit writhing in a wild agony, or the judge of the dead seated on the throne to judge the souls of the departed. Most of these paintings have been found at Tarquinium, Veii,

Etruscan Art. — Cistce and Mirrors.


and Chiusi. They vary much in style, — some being treated carefully, severely, and archaically ; others carelessly, and with a certam mannerism. The arrangement is confined throughout simply and clearly to the relief style, in which the influence of Greek works is unmistakably to be seen.

This relation is still more decidedly apparent in the engraved representations that are to be found in great numbers on bronze ornaments, especially on the backs of hand-mirrors, and the sides of jewel-caskets, which were once thought to be mystic cist^.^ They comprise, as a general thing, representations from Greek mythology and the heroic le- gends ; although Etruscan myths, and subjects taken from real life, are occasionally found. They vary greatly in respect to the merit of the work and the mechanical exe- cution. Often they are merely hastily scratched in ; sometimes they are done with a sharp, an- gular movement of the lines, and a dry, bare treatment, — as, for instance, a Birth of Minerva on a mirror in the museum at Bologna ; but occasionally they display a no- bility and an attractiveness that at once seem to indicate the hand of Greek artists, like the magnificent mirror in the museum at Berlin, which represents Bacchus and Se- mele (Fig. 142 a. Under b, c, d, examples are given of the exquisite execution of utensils of this

[1 Unrivalled specimens of these cistae were to be seen, together with examples of Etruscan jewelry and other objects, in the Castellani collection formerly in the Metropolitan Museum of New York. But, although we have lost this incomparable treasure, here are still to be had excellent photographs of the principal objects, which are on sale at the museum, and which will bs found of great value by the student.

Fig. 142. Etruscan Mirrors.

2 JO History of Art.

kind). The composition is, as a rule, enclosed by a tasteful frame in the shape of a wreath of flowers and vines. This composition, in most cases, admirably fills out the circular plate of the mirror ; although occasionally a somewhat crowded group- ing of the figures again points to the Etruscan partiality for picturesque arrangement. The celebrated Ficoroni casket in the Miiseo Kircheriano of the Jesuit College in Rome unques- tionably takes the first rank among these cistao, or jewel-boxes.^ Made, according to its inscription, by Novius Plautius at Rome, it has upon its somewhat convex side representations taken from the legend of the Argonauts. Polydeuces binds King Amycus, whom he has conquered, to a laurel-tree ; while Vic- tory (Nike) hovers over with a wreath and a girdle ; and Athene, together with Apollo and certain Greek heroes, gazes at the scene. Near by, the "Argo" lies quietly at anchor. A few heroes have landed, by means of a ladder, to gather a supply of water : some sit and lie in pleasant indolence on the deck. As far as the eye can reach stretch other peaceful scenes. The finish of the drawing, the nobility and the attractiveness of the figures, the freshness and life of the composition, are only to be explained by the influence of Hellenic works.

Painting on vases, so far as it can be traced with certainty to Etruscan hands, was certainly in a very low stage of develop- ment ; for most of the works of this sort which were formerly attributed to the Etruscans have proved to be the productions of Greek workshops.

[1 This celebrated casket has been often figured. An outline of the subject which surrounds it like a frieze is given in the Dictionnaire des Antiquit^s Grecques et Romaines of Messrs. Doremberg and Saglio, art. Argonautae. " It gets its name from its finder, the scholar Fico- roni, wiio found it in 1745, "°' f""" f'om his birthplace, Lugano, about five miles from I'ales- trina. An Englishman offered him for it a handful of zecchini ; but he preferred to present it to the Kircher Museum. It is cylindrical in shape, about fifty centimeters high by forty-two in diameter." — Gsell-Fels' Guide: Rom und Mittd-Italien, ii. pp. 167, 16S.]




Nearly related as the Romans are to the Greeks, and cer- tain as it is that they sprang from the same parent stock, it is yet difficult to realize their common family origin. In describing the vast difference, amounting even to antagonism, between them, it may be said that the Greeks were essentially an artistic, the Romans a political people. The Greeks con- quered the world by beauty, the Romans by statecraft. As the sculpture and the poesy of Greece compel the admiration and imitation, even at this distant day, of men living, as it were, in another world, who reverence in them their highest models in the realm of the beautiful ; so does the judiciary code of Rome still bind a fair proportion of modern nations. Some deeper meaning, some intrinsic necessity, must lie at the foun- dations of such facts as these.

The Greeks were an ideal people, the Romans thoroughly realistic. The Greeks founded states, planted colonies, brought remote and savage coasts under the influence of their culture : the Romans were moved less by the instinct of the civilizer than by that of the conqueror ; and at that early day the former did not serve as an excuse for the latter. The ancient legend of the origin and growth of the Roman community indicates this inborn instinct, showing that violence and usurpation were the sign-manual of her citizenship, even in the natal hour of Rome. As though impelled by an inner law of necessity, hav-


272 History of Ai^t.

ing for its factors the situation of the town and the character of its inhabitants, the Romans overflowed their original hmits, spreading more and more, subjugating the neighboring peoples, — the widely-diverse Etruscan, as well as the kindred Latin nations, — until they swallowed up all Italy, with its Etruscan and Greek civilization, and advanced gradually but surely to the domination of the entire known world. That in the course of a development so gradual, and bringing in its train changes so vast, the condition of the Roman people should have materially altered, was only natural ; but as a great river during its unimpeded course receives a multitude of tributary streams from all sides into itself, yet retains the same waters as a component part of its being with which it sprang from its source, so with the Romans. Though incorporating, without an exception, all the nations of the world in their vast body politic, they ever remained in essential characteristics, notwith- standing many transformations, the very same people as at their origin.

This dominant characteristic consists in an energetic, worldly- wise, practical spirit, a realistic intelligence; directed towards acquisition and possession ; and this explains their remarkable aptitude for the development of political life, and the precision with which they conceived, established, and perfected the idea of justice. It was a vigorous, powerful race, as wise as it was brave, possessing at its best a rough, manly virtue, whose lofti- est ideal was based upon stern rectitude and ancient custom.

With the continual enlargement of the borders of the empire, the consequent development of internal relations went hand in hand. The condition of citizenship between patrician and plebeian, the relations with allies, and the foreign nations under its protection or subject to its rule, afforded just so many problems, in the solution of which statesmanlike wisdom and legislative capacity were frequently employed. Added to these was the relationship, in its many ramifications, which individ- uals and the family held towards the state : for contrary to the

Romari Art. — Etruscan and Greek Influences. 273

usage of Greece, where family life was maintained apart in almost Oriental seclusion, and quite ignored by the state, the communal life of the Romans was based upon that of the family ; so that, whilst with the Greeks a woman of purity lived, so to speak, in concealment, the Roman matron held her honorable place beside the father of the family in public life.

Whilst the Romans thus ordered their home-matters, con- quered Italy and the world, destroyed empires, overthrew and created monarchs, and dictated the world's laws, they remained in all ideal manifestations of spiritual life, in poetry and art, even in the expression of their religious thought, under the influence of the Greeks. In earliest times, Etruscan influences were undoubtedly predominant ; but the Greek mind soon asserted itself. The divinities of Rome originated, for the most part, in the Greek Olympus, the persons of the Hellenic mythology appearing under translated names ; while here and there some new trait was created, or rougher setting bestowed. The people even strove to trace back its descent, through ^neas, to the Greek heroic legend. The intuitive additions ingrafted upon this religious system partook rather of a moral and ethical than of a mythic, poetical character. Hence the Romans were not only lacking in a national epic, but they became the pupils and learned imitators of the Greeks in all the principal schools of poetry, transplanting the epic as well as the drama of Hellas to the soil of Latium. The songs of Homer and the ^neid of Virgil stand in about the same rela- tion to each other as does the elevated, idealistic humor of Aristophanes to the unpolished comedies of a Plautus and a Terence, which reflect, in subject and coloring, ordinary, every-day life. The poetic schools which are Roman in their nature and origin, such as the didactic and satiric, are further witnesses of the decided preponderance of the elements of common sense, acute observation, and practical experience, over the higher idealistic, imaginative faculty. The same relative difference shows itself no less decidedly when we survey the

2 74 History of Art.

realm of the plastic arts. The Romans themselves never acquired a high artistic genius. In this regard they were the voluntary pupils, first of the Etruscans, later of the Greeks. Art, with this people, was not something which the people had at heart, not a necessity of the national faith, nor the emanation of an imagination excited by the divine ideals of the poets, but rather an article of luxury for the rich and the powerful, a servitor of greatness prepared and destined to adorn life, to glorify power, to attract the people. Architecture was espe- cially adapted to this end, since its connection with the prac- tical uses of living was most congenial to the Roman character. It was in this branch of art, therefore, that they could produce most that was original and individual ; it was here that they could most noticeably wnden the range of ancient thought. Grandeur of design, variety of combination adapted to new and most practical exigencies, and faultless purity of execution, form the invariable characteristics and excellences of all Roman monuments.

Far less weighty is the debt we owe to the Romans in the provinces of sculpture and painting : indeed, it substantially confines itself to the fact of their having offered, as wealthy, splendor-loving Maecenases, an asylum to Greek artists when their own poverty-stricken, degenerate fatherland had no further need of them ; thus making possible a series of new productions, and occasionmg an important renaissance of Hellenistic art. Notwithstanding the fact that the talent, skill, execution, even the range of subject, were all Greek, the Romans acquired that modifying influence over their art which the race of Maecenases, and of patrons generally, exercise over the artist-class. The latter, consequently, devoted itself in part to the reproduction and imitation of old masterpieces, partly to the creation of new works suited to the taste of the period for splendor and effec- tiveness, and appealing to its special genius ; but nothing ori- ginal and independent, in the strict sense of the words, was accomplished, save in the domani of realistic, historic represen-


Roman Architecture: its System. 275

tation, and of portraiture. It was these branches of art that must appeal most strongly to the genius of a people, which il- lustrated its path through history by a series of splendid deeds, which loved to place the personality of individual generals and statesmen in the foreground, and, later, awarded even divine honors to its Caesars and their race. . The greatest significance which the Romans have for the history of art lies in the fact of their wide sovereignty. Whilst they laid a common yoke upon all nations, they gave them their art along with their legal statutes, or, to speak more accurately, the art of Greece, adopted and generalized by them, and pre- pared for a cosmopolitan acceptance. Here, for the first time, we see national difference obliterated, and art, freed from the demands and the restraints of merely national ideas, reigning, a universal law, without distinction in Italy as in Greece, among the unpolished northern races of Germany and Gaul as among the ancient civilizations of the Orient.


Nowhere does the eclectic, adaptable tendency of the Romans in their art-creations appear so clearly as in their architecture. The most ancient monuments were erected after Etruscan models ; while, in their later ones, all traces of this earlier in- fluence have passed away, and the acceptance of Greek form is universal. Only one important element of Etruscan art continued to be a lasting power in Roman architecture, which attained, by means of it, to a high degree of artistic perfection ; viz., the use of the vaulted arch. At first employed in works of utility, like the Cloaca Maxima, mentioned above, for sewers, bridges, viaducts, the arch soon rose to extended use in orna- mental building ; and for the first time it became possible, by means of the strength and power of resistance which the con- struction of the arch afforded, to raise edifices of many stories of a solidity unsurpassed by even monumental masonry.

276 History of Art.

Whilst only the mode employed by the Greeks and Orientals for roofing in a space by means of strong horizontal beams was known, the capacity of an architectural stone structure was limited to a minimum of space, dependent upon the natural qualifications of the stone in the supply of the flat beams re- quired : but, after the discovery that wedge-shaped stones can be built into an arch which is compactly and solidly bound together by the tendency of each component part towards a common centre of gravity, architecture was in a great measure emancipated from its natural trammels ; and it became possible to enlarge its scope, and vary its plans and subjects, beyond any previous experience. In this, therefore, consists the importance of an improvement upon the construction of the arch as in- vented by the Etruscans, and developed and perfected by the Romans. By its means the latter have solved problems more magnificent and varied than have ever before or since come within the scope of architectural skill, attaining results of a beauty and importance never since reached. The simplest among the arch-structures of the Romans was the cylindrical arch, as that is called which connects two opposite walls. Opening at both ends in a semicircular arc, this form of the arch labors only under the disadvantage of requiring an equally strong lateral support throughout its entire length in order that the side-thrust of the arch may be resisted. Much freer and more generally adaptable in this respect is the cross-shaped vault invented by the Romans. This is formed when two cylin- drical arches cross each other at right angles over a quadrangular space. They thus interlace, and partially support each other, intersecting at the two diagonal lines which connect the oppo- site corners. Thus the cross-shaped vaulting rises from four points of support, and cuts the vault in four triangular sections, or pendentives. In this development the arch attains a greater adaptability, the supporting masonry being separated into four independent supports ; and an organism is produced which is as variable as though instinct with life. A third form of the arch.

Roman Architecture. — The Dome ; the Columns. 277

the dome, was called into being by the Roman partiality for round structures. It may be described as a hollow hemisphere, built with horizontal layers of wedge-shaped stones^ and shows the constructive principle of the arch adapted to a circular ground-plan. The necessity of affording sufficient resistance to this form of the vault on every side necessitates a limitation in the use of it, as in the case of the cylindric arch. In con- nection with the dome in Roman architecture, the semi-dome arch is often employed in the apses which make so common a feature of their buildings. With this wealth of arch-forms, it was found possible not only to enlarge the limits of buildings, and to carry out the design of the most varied ground-plans, but furthermore, by the use of open arches, and the employment of niches and recesses, to give to both exterior and interior walls the most spirited and varied forms.

This entire system would, however, have remained a rather plain, unornamental one, had the Romans not borrowed an element of artistic ornamentation from another quarter. This was the columnar architecture of the Greeks, the richly-devel- oped beauties of which were soon pressed into the service of decorative art by the Roman builders. In the halls of the basilicas and of the markets, as well as in the more richly decorated courts of their houses, but more especially in the arrangement of their temples, the Romans made lavish use of the Grecian column. Whether these temples were laid out upon the Etruscan or the Grecian ground-plan, a splendid columnar adornment was invariably added to the design, when either the stately Greek form of the peripteros or dipteros was employed ; or, in the case of an Etruscan ground-plan, a depth of three or four rows of pillars was given to the portico, while all around the outer wall a row of half-columns was ranged in a pseudo-peripteral fashion. For this purpose the Doric and Ionic orders were less popular, owing to their greater simplicity, and only frequently employed at an early epoch ; whereas the more gorgeous Corinthian type was not only seized


History of Art.

upon with especial delight, receiving the impress of that typical form by which we now know it almost exclusively (Fig. 143), but a new variety was produced by the Romans in the so-called Composite or Roman capital (Fig. 144), in which the unwieldy magnificence of a coarser form of the Ionic capital crowns the two rows of daintily-curved acanthus-leaves. Not unfrequently one finds the three orders of Greek architecture employed upon the same building to designate the separate stories ; in which case the Doric is assigned to the lower, the Ionic to the middle, and the Corinthian to the upper section.









Fig. 143. Roman Corinthian Capital.

Fig. 144. Composite Capital.

With this we reach the point which constitutes the impor- tance of Roman architecture, — the association of the column with the arch. That this was only an external arbitrary union is a matter of cour.se. By the very conditions of its construction, the arch needed for its support strong piers and solid masses of masonry. In order to give these a more spirited character, the Greek columns, with their entablatures and cornices, were set like a loose frame about the bulk of the walls, either as half-columns or pilasters, or else as separate independent pillars. The law of the spaces between the columns was, in consequence, much less strictly observed ; and a square bit of masonry was often given to single columns, by way of base or postamcnt : in other respects, however, the Greek type was strictly adhered

Roman Architechtre. — Changes iii Greek Models.


to, except that the various orders were not infrequently arbitra- rily mingled, bringing out the pediments more strongly by an accumulation of decorative adjuncts, and everywhere striving to give an expression of almost exaggerated splendor. With this was associated an insipid conventional conception, which, joined to a complete misconcep- tion of the primitive significance of the type, resulted in adding to the Doric frieze, for example (Fig. 145), a half-metope at its corners, while intending, doubtless, to cor- rect and improve upon the irregu- lar division of the triglyphs. In the same way, when the height of the columns, as was frequently the case, did not correspond to that of the building, a half-story with pi- lasters, a so-called attica, was added above one of the original stories. The columns were even more loose- ly connected in the last epoch of Roman art, when they were often employed in ornamental buildinsfs of CTeat size as di-




Fig. 145. Roman Doric Order.


rect supports' for the cross- vaulting ; though even then they retained their bit of en- tablature with frieze and cor- nice. For the cornice or co- rona, the Romans developed, while still conforming to the Corinthian style of architect- ure used by the Greeks, an especially splendid . design (Fig. 146), which, for richness and beauty of effect, has never been equalled by any other




Fig. 146.

Corinthian Cornice from the Arch of Titus.

28o History of Art.

cornice in the world. The same parts, similarly disposed, jut out also above such columns as are only employed as wall- decorations, and form those angular projections (see Fig. 153, over angle-columns) which most plainly reveal the superficial, unsystematic character of this architecture. The introduction of panelled roofing from Greek temples, and its employment upon multiform arched surfaces, and also the species of archi- trave introduced into the profile of the simple arch (the archi- volt), were, in an equal degree, signs of the incapacity of the Romans to create for their system of arches constructive art- types evolved by necessity from its own conditions. They were only able to combine, to borrow, to assimilate, never to unfold from within, the idea of a new creation.

In spite of these defects, the architecture of the Romans pos- sesses, undeniably, great excellences. It immeasurably enlarged the range of architectural possibilities, and made practicable a variety of designs hitherto undreamed of, by the employment of new building-materials. The most striking illustration of this may be seen in the application of architectural art to the u.ses of daily life. Roman architecture not only gave forms as serviceable as they were beautiful to structures connected with streets and bridges, aqueducts and viaducts, walls and gates, but also to palaces and villas, halls of justice and market-places, as well as those -edifices dedicated to public amusement, — the circus and the bath, the theatre and the amphitheatre. The stamp of lordship and of power was impressed upon the build- ings of the Romans, as upon every thing else which emanated from them ; and the perfection of their construction and the excellence of their materials have only yielded to the shocks of the most overwhelming devastation, so that their very ruins testify to an almost imperishable magnificence. Nor are these monuments less remarkable for the beauty of their ornamenta- tion, although the inherent grace and delicacy of the Greek types have been translated into an expression of greater robust- ness and fulness. Still, such was the skill of the chisel used

Roman Architecticre : its Montiments. 281

upon them, and so ineffaceable their original loveliness, that even the mutilated, disfigured remains come down to us as illus- trations of a system of ornamentation which has never been equalled by any subsequent order for its florid yet noble beauty. And, inasmuch as the Romans erected countless monuments of their architectural style throughout their wide dominions, they gave to architecture that widely-acknowledged position of im- portance, whence in the future, and under the influence of Christianity, new and splendid developments were destined to arise.


The most ancient epoch of Roman architecture appears to have been exclusively under Etruscan influences. We are aware that Roman temples were built after Etruscan models, and that the great sewers for the drainage of the town date from the reign of the Tarquins. The earlier epoch of the republic, which was a period of rigid simplicity of manners, was chiefly interested in the construction of architectural works for useful purposes. The Appian Way and various aqueducts are notable memorials of this epoch. However, the influence of Greece made itself felt betimes, especially after Greece had become a subject prov- ince of Rome, about 150 B.C. The first temples of any mag- nificence in the Greek manner were built from the spoils of Metullus' ^lacedonian campaign ; and the superb development of the basilica dates from the same period. These last were edifices on the plan of an elongated parallelogram, whose wide enclosure was encircled by two stories of colonnades. While the great enclosed space was designed for purposes of trade and exchange, it is probable that the semicircular recess at one extremity serv ed the purpose of a high tribunal, a seat of public judgment. Only scant remains survive of that distant period of Roman architecture ; but these suffice to give us an idea of their peculiar, unadorned simplicity in form and material. The oldest buildings are constructed of an unsightly, greenish-gray


History of Art.

tufa, called pcpcrino, unsuitable for elaboration of detail ; but travei'tinc, a species of limestone remarkable for its warm fine tone and its durability, appears to have shortly come into general use. One of the most important and at the same time historically interesting monuments of this period is the sarcophagus of L. Cornelius Scipio Barbatus, belonging to the early part of the third century before Christ, which was dis- covered in the subterranean family vault of this famous race, excavated near the Parta Latina, and consigned to the Museum of the Vatican.

The Doric triglyph frieze, with its triglyphs in simple relief above, the rosettes in the metopes, the cumbrous cornice-mould- ings with its dentils, the volutes at the angles, arc all indications of an especially severe and simple acceptation of Greek details. The Temple of Fortuna Virilis is, on the other hand, an example

of the Ionic order ; the exquisite l^ortico, with its six columns, which forms a pseudo-peripteral continua- tion of the walls of the cella, rising on its high foundations close beside the Tiber. Finally, the so-called Temple of Vesta at Tivoli is like-

1" ' - - " '3?f* wise an example of the earlier cm-

i Is! 11 11 plovment of the Corinthian style

[ I r I N I ! I i I i ULII.lillUJI (Fig. 147), crowning with its grace-

ful, circular structure, surrounded by pillars, a steep, rocky height above the foaming waters of the Anio. The ruins of the Tabulari- um, the ancient repository of the state archives, attest the grand, rugged characteristics of that old time. Built about 78 B.C., it crowns with its massive freestone pile, and its once open, vaulted halls, bordered by half-columns of the Doric order, that declivity of the capital opposite the less elevated Forum. And



Fig. 147. C.ipital and Rase from Temple of Vesta at Tivoli.

, Ro7nan Architediu^e. — Works of CcEsar. 283

yet another example of the same style remains in the Tomb of Cecilia Metella, wife of the triumvir Crassus, situated on the Appian Way, and rising tower-like from a circular base with a square foundation.

Towards the close of the republican period, during the struggles for individual sovereignty which shook the state to its centre, architectural undertakings began to assume a magni- tude and splendor which displayed princely ostentation in the place of republican simplicity. Although, in the theatre built by M. Scaurus in 58 B.C. to accommodate eighty thousand spectators, only wood was used for the original construction, it was decorated with the most costly materials, — gold, silver, and ivory, — and adorned with splendid marble columns and numberless bronze statues. Only three years later, the first Pompey erected the first stone theatre in Rome to accommo- date forty thousand spectators ; its summit crowned by a temple of Venus Victrix. But Caesar went beyond all his predecessors in the magnificence of the structures with which he endowed the city. He built an amphitheatre, which was protected from the sun by a vast silken canopy ; he began the building of a stone theatre, which was completed by Augustus ; he enlarged and beautified the Circus Maximus, which, according to the lowest calculation, seated a hundred and fifty thousand per- sons ; he erected the gorgeous Julian Basilica, the marble floor of which has been excavated in recent times on the south side of the Forum ; finally, he went so far as to build a new forum, which he adorned with a statue of the Venus Genetrix.

All this, however, was merely the introduction to that mag- nificent Augustan period which forms the noblest and most brilliant epoch of Roman national life. It was under Augustus that Roman architecture seems to have attained to its culmi- nating glory, just as his reign is regarded as the golden age of Latin literature, illuminated as it was by the first stars of Ro- man poetry, — by such names as Virgil, Ovid, Horace, Tibullus,


History of Art.

and Propertius. Augustus not only completed the unfinished undertakings of Caesar, not only restored eighty-two temples, among them the most sublime and famous buildings of anti- quity, but he likewise erected magnificent structures for popular assemblies ; and, above all, he built a new forum, called after himself, the outer walls of which, with remains of a splendid adjoining temple, are still in existence. Of this temple, which Augustus vowed to Mars Ultor (the Avenger) during the battle of Actium, there yet remain three Corinthian pillars, as also a portion of the cella wall and of the beautiful panelled


-^ 3



Fig. 148. Section of the Pantheon.

ceiling, which are justly admired as among the noblest remains of Roman art. The most magnificent monument of this period, and one of Rome's sublimest works in any epoch, is the Pan- theon, built by Agrippa, the son-in-law of Augustus (Fig. 148). It was originally designed for a hall connected with the baths built 26 B.C., the first establishment of that description in Rome ; but, as soon as completed, it was converted into a temple, and dedicated to Jupiter the Avenger. The edifice

Roman ArcJiitecture. — TJic Pantheon. 285

assumes the circular form, which was such a favorite in ancient Itahan art ; which is crowned, perhaps for the first time in a building of such proportions, with a dome. The interior meas- ures a hundred and thirty-two feet in diameter, as well as in height. The walls are broken by seven niches, three semi- circular, and, alternating with them, three rectangular, wherein, at a later period, splendid marble columns with entablatures were introduced. Above this rises an attica with pilasters, the original position of which has undoubtedly been changed, since we know that Diogenes' Caryatides once rose above the entabla- ture of the columns, and divided the apertures of the great niches. Above the attica rises, in the form of a hemisphere, the enormous dome, which has an opening in the top twenty-six feet in diameter, through which a flood of light pours into the space beneath. Its simple regularity, the beauty of its parts, the magnificence of the materials employed, the quiet harmony resulting from the method of illumination, give to the interior a solemnly sublime character, which has hardly been impaired, even by the subsequent somewhat inharmonious alterations. These have especially affected the dome, the beautiful and effectively graded panels of which were formerly richly adorned with bronze ornaments. In the same way the marble decora- tions of the attica were removed during the last century, and a piece of commonplace scene-painting substituted. Only the splendid columns of yellow marble {giallo antico), with white marble capitals and bases, and the marble decorations of the lower walls, bear witness to the earlier magnificence of the building. The caryatides, which, according to the testimony of the ancients, adorned the interior, have disappeared ; but it may be taken for granted that the place they once occupied is above the entablature of the columns. When the building was converted into a temple, it was provided with a porch, splen- didly adorned with sixteen Corinthian columns, eight of which support the outer fronton, while the remaining eight divide the singularly deep vestibule into three naves, the central one of

2 86 History of Art.

which leads up to the great entrance-door, while the others end in niches. The roof formerly had bronze ornaments, which were barbarously removed in the reign of Pope Urban VIII., and appropriated to the unwieldy and grotesque altar-canopy (the baldacchino) of St. Peter's. The exterior is otherwise simple and unadorned, and covered with tiles, which were origi- nally overlaid with stucco. Although it must be conceded that the connection between the vestibule and the circular building is of the slightest description, one form in no way suggesting the other, nevertheless the impression made by the edifice as a whole is singularly imposing.

In the year 13 B.C. Augustus completed the Theatre of Mar- cellus, begun by Caesar, and so called in honor of a son-in-law of the emperor. The massive remains of this building still exist in the Palazzo Orsini, which has been built into the old ruins by making use of the exterior walls. A considerable part of the semicircular masonry is still to be seen in solid travertine freestone, besides fragments of both lower stories, framed by Doric and Ionic pilasters, and striking entablatures of a se- verely simple, easy treatment, even retaining the triglyphte frieze. The theatre once accommodated thirty thousand spec- tators. There are still preserved in the wretched quarter of the Ghetto and in a neighboring fish-market a few fine Corin- thian marble columns, with their entablature, which once formed a part of the magnificent Portico of Octavia, whose colonnades, adjoining the theatre, afforded a shady promenade for the peo- ple. Of the emperor's grand mausoleum, which formerly tow- ered aloft, — a mighty terraced mountain, set with trees, and adorned at its highest point with the bronze statue of the em- peror, — there remains, on the contrary, nothing now but the great foundation-walls, two hundred and twenty feet in diam- eter, in the ancient Campo di Marte, now a place for circus- riding and spectacles of like nature. The infinite variety in memorial monuments, even at that early day, is exemplified by the Pyramid of Cestius, a slender, artistically-decorated struc-

Roman Architecture. — The Provinces,


tiire, near the Porta San Paolo, within which is concealed a small mortuary chamber, adorned with paintings.

Out of Rome, the elegant Temple of Augustus and Roma, at Pola in Istria, is a well-preserved specimen of the noble type of the Corinthian style, and of the union of Greek forms with Italian ground-plans ; for, according to an old tradition of the country, a deep vestibule was annexed, in this case also, to the

Fig. 149. Maison Quarree at Nimes.

simple cella. Yet more gorgeous is the beautiful temple at Nimes, in the south of France, locally known as the " Maison Qiiarre'c (Fig. 149). There are triumphal arches of this period at Rimini, Susa, and Aosta, all of simple plan and construction. To the same period belongs Vitruvius' text-book of architect- ure, which, most curiously, does not allude in the remotest way

288 History of Art.

to arch and vault construction, and offers little besides an aca- demic receipt for the application of Greek models.

After Augustus, whose pride it was to have transformed a city of brick into one of marble, the passion for architecture seems to have been for a while on the wane. It is most proba- ble, however, that the three columns, with entablature and cor- nice, which rise to the south of the Forum, and formerly were known as the Temple of Jupiter Stator, may be a monument from the time of Tiberius and Caligula. Under these emperors the ancient Temple of the Dioscuri was renovated ; and recently it has been proved beyond a doubt that the ruins of the Temples of Castor and Pollux may be traced in these remains. Pillars, entablature, and cornice are unsurpassed, for purity of style, beauty, and elegance, by any of the antiquities of Rome. A work of great magnificence also belongs to the reign of Clau- (Jiiis, — the double Aqueduct of the Anio Novus and the Aqua Claudia, the ruins of whose stupendous brick arches still trav- erse the Campagna and the vineyard suburbs of Rome, and, with their superb growth of ivy and other creeping plants, form a chief charm of the Villa Wolkonsky. Where this aqueduct entered the town there rises a mighty double gate, still pre- served under the name of the Porta Maggiore, — an imposing s.tructure, owing to the scale on which it is planned, though tasteless in construction, over whose entrance-ways the two titanic water-pipes are conducted. Shortly after its comple- tion, Nero's madness laid the town in ashes, only that he might cause it to rise again in greater splendor than ever, and that he might build upon its ruins his " Golden House," a structure of unheard-of magnificence ; which, however, after the murder of the tyrant, was razed to the ground by the infuriated people.

To this period belong the monuments of Pompeii, through which we gain an insight into the transition stage from the Hel- lenistic to the Roman type. Visited by an earthquake A.D. 6-^, which was followed, sixteen years later, by the destruction of the city by an eruption of Vesuvius, Pompeii, with its remains,

Romait Architecture. — Pompeii.


offers us a picture of the condition of a small Italian provincial town of the period. The Greek architectural type, in its later development, appears particularly in the triangular Forum, and in the temple included within its precincts. The theatre dis- plays in its plan a mixture of Hellenistic and Roman principles, while the Roman influence preponderates in the Forum and in its temple, and in the Basilica. Regarding these structures, as well as the triumphal arches, the baths, the amphitheatre, the other temples, the town-walls with their gates, the Street of the Tombs with its monuments, as, so to speak, a duodecimo edi- tion of the then existing condition of Rome, what, nevertheless, appeals most strongly to our interest is the large number of dweUing-houses (Figs. 150, 151) which have been excavated, be-

Fig. 150. Section of the House of Pansa at Pompeii.

cause they are almost the only specimens remaining to us of architecture applied to private dwellings as developed by the ancients. In them we distinctly recognize the ground-plan of all Roman houses, constantly repeated through all varieties of development. Each stately dwelling-house has its double plan, — an anterior portion for more public use, a posterior edifice re- .served specially for the family (Fig. 147). Both sections, with their included apartments, are grouped about an atrium, or series of open courts, the outer one being, as a rule, small and simple, in the Etruscan style ; while the richer inner enclosure is sur- rounded by an arcade, according to the Grecian model. The centre of the atrium forms the impluvium, where a deep basin gathers the rain-water from the encircling overhanging roofs. A hall in the centre of the house, designed for the portraits of


History of Art.

ancestors, and called the tablimmi, occupied a considerable space, and connected the two sections of the mansion. In the neighborhood of the sleeping-apartments and living-rooms is the triclhiiiim, or dining-hall, especially remarkable for elegance of decoration. In the upper story the slaves were accustomed to sleep and work. The rich painting on the walls, the mosaic finish of the floors, diffuse over this delightful shade an inimitable charm, suggestive of physical luxury and a bright enjoyment of life. Recently, in the Palace of the Caesars at Rome, there has been excavated that splendid specimen of an antique dwelling

^ y / I IT

Fig. 151. Hall in the so-called House of Sallust at Pompeii.

in which it has been sought to trace the ancestral home of Tiberius.

With the Flavians (A.D. 69) begins the second brilliant epoch of Roman architecture, the relics of which equal, to say the least, the earlier ruins in vastness, and even surpass them in splendor. Below is given the Colosseum, the Flavian amphi- theatre begun by Vespasian, and completed by Titus A.D. 70, the mightiest Roman ruin in the world (Fig. 152). About six

Roman Architecture. — The Colossezim.


hundred feet long and over five hundred feet wide, the vast oval enclosed by its walls accommodated eighty thousand spectators ; and on its arena were exhibited those gladiatorial combats and wild-beast fights in which the rough and unpolished Roman people delighted. Round about rose, one above another, like steps, the rows of seats, supported by vaulted corridors, the top- most tier being enclosed by a colonnade. An encircling wall,

Fig. 152. Section and Portion of the Elevation of the Colosseum.

over one hundred and fifty feet high, encloses in an enormous shell of travertine the kernel of the giant structure. Though it has been in part destroyed by violence, the northern side, still in a good state of preservation, exhibits three tiers of arcades one above the other, enframed by Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian pi- lasters, with their entablatures, and surmounted by a fourth story, furnished with windows, and adorned with Corinthian

292 History of Art.

pilasters. In the great cornice of this upper story we still per- ceive the holes for the poles, to which was fastened the immense canopy that was spread over the whole vast space as a protec- tion from the sun.

There likewise exist considerable remains of the Baths of Titus in the neighborhood of the Colosseum, especially re- markable for the elegant frescos, the discovery of which during the time of Raphael suggested one of the noblest works of the Renaissance, — the Loggie of the Vatican. We may further notice, as belonging to this epoch, those three rich Corinthian columns on the slope of the Capitoline Hill, which were formerly known under the name of the Temple of Jupiter Tonans, but have recently been identified as the Temple of Vespasian. Of still more architectural importance is the Arch of Titus, at the end of the Via Sacra, which was dedicated to the emperor in the year 81 in commemoration of his victory over the Jews and the destruction of Jerusalem (Fig. 153). Here the monumental type of the triumphal arch invented by the Romans is, for the first time, given in perfection, though in simple design ; for only a single lofty, vaulted passage-way is introduced between solid masses of masonry, set round with pilasters on postaments, uj^on which appears, for the first time, the robust type of the Roman composite capital. The walls are relieved by window-like niches ; the attica above the columns bears the dedicatory inscription ; the walls inside, on either hand, are adorned with superb re- lievos, and the vaulted arch with rosettes in sunk panels ; while a group of four bronze horses, with the figure of the triumphant hero, once crowned magnificently the platform above the attica.

Of the new Forum, which was begun by Domitian, and finished and named by Nerva, there only remain, between the Roman and the Augustan Forums, a few beautiful, half-buried Corinthian columns, with a rich frieze adorned with relievo, and a lofty attica, on which appears the figure in relievo of Athene, as patroness of female works. The temple which occupied the centre of the Forum, and was only destroyed in the seventeenth

Roman Architecture. — Trajan's Forum. 293

century, was dedicated to her.^ But the Forum of Trajan, founded by that emperor (98-1 17), surpassed all its predecessors in magnificence, size, and splendor. Constructed by the archi- tect Apollodorus of Damascus, its central space was occupied by the mighty Ulpian basilica with its five naves, and the mar- ble column supporting the emperor's statue, the height of which (ninety-two feet) recorded the height of the hill which

Fig. 153. Arch of Titus.

the workmen were obliged to level in order to obtain room for the foundation. Besides this column, richly adorned with re- lievos, there are none of the pillars extant, except the mighty fragments, excavated by the French, of the granite columns which once supported the bronze roof of the basilica. Other still more stupendous ruins of granite columns belong to the temple which Hadrian erected on this spot in honor of Trajan.

1 The sculptures show Athene instructinc; women in female works.


Histo7y of Art.

Besides the triumphal arch at the entrance of the Forum, there was another similar triumphal gateway built in Rome, the fragments of which were later employed in the Triumphal Arch of Constantine. Doubtless this, the richest and most magnifi- cent monument of its kind, with its threefold archways, with its splendid plastic decoration and purely harmonious adjuncts, preserves for us, even at this day, all the essentials of Trajan's great work. Built entirely of Pentelic m.arble, it is equally admi- rable for nobility of proportion and for delicacy of workmanship.

Fig. 154. Bridge of Alcantara.

Another Arch of Trajan, single-gated, but likewise richly adorned with sculptures, is well preserved at Benevento. This emperor erected several important monuments in his native Spain, such as the Bridge of Alcantara (Fig. 154),' which also has a triumphal arch connected with it, and some more simply- designed triumphal gateways.

Not less ambitious in their conception were the architectural enterprises of Hadrian (i 17-138); but they express a more liberal, classic, retrospective grasp of Hellenistic ideals. One

Rofuan Architecture. — Hadrians Works. 295

of his grandest designs was the Temple of Venus and Roma, which he reared upon a lofty foundation on the eastern edge of the Forum, opposite the Colosseum, and which was famous for being the most colossal among Roman temples. The design, however, is artificial and forced ; for the twin temples, with their great niches for the statues of the deities, are built close together, back to back, causing their vestibule-entrances to be located at opposite extremities. The external wall, supplied with small niches, as well as the apses, with their rhomboidal, panelled half-domes, is still standing in part. The ancient cylindrical vaulting of the cellas has, however, utterly vanished ; and the seventy-two marble columns which formed a peripteral portico, and two vestibules around the temple, have shared the same fate. There only remain, scattered about here and there, a few colossal ruins of the granite pillars which once supported the porticos of the temple court, — vast structures five hundred feet long and three hundred feet wide. A single marble stair- way led up from the Forum, and a double one from the Colos- seum to the terraced elevation on which the temple stood. Another mighty monument of that epoch is the present Castle of St. Angelo, originally erected as the Mausoleum of Hadrian. The circular monument rises tower-like on a square base, and has a diameter of two hundred and twenty-six feet, built in trav- ertine freestone. Deep below ground is the mortuary chamber of the emperor, which is reached by descending a spirally-con- structed, covered passage-way. Parian marble once incased the whole enormous structure, and the summit was crowned by a bronze quadriga. Only a chaotic mass of ruins, spread over an enormous space, remains of Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli.

After Rome, Athens especially was adorned by this emperor with numberless costly structures ; and among them is still pre- serv^ed a triumphal gateway, which united the new portion of the town, built by him, with the ancient city. Besides this, he constructed a pantheon, an aqueduct, and other monuments, and completed the gigantic undertaking of the Temple of the

296 History of Art.

Olympian Zeus, the oldest portion of which dated back to the time of Pisistratus.

The refined tendency of Hadrian's era, bordering already, however, upon the insipid academic school, was followed by a gradual decadence of the more vital architectural idea, by a clum- sier and more curtailed method of treatment, a partial degeneracy of form. We recognize this fact even in the Temple of Anto- ninus and Faustina, belonging to the period of Antoninus Pius (138 -161), the vestibule of which, with its gorgeous columns of cipollino, and the walls of the cella; with their richly-exe- cuted frieze, are still to be seen, Marcus Aurelius left us (161- 180) the stately column erected by him in imitation of the Column of Trajan, on the Field of Mars. A ruin in its neigh- borhood, consisting of eleven gigantic columns, with pediment and entablature, which already exhibit that bellying, convex shape of the frieze, which was a sign of degeneracy at a later period, must be referred to this era. The dogana (custom- house) of to-day is built into the wall of this temple.

The Triumphal Arch of Septimius Severus, built on the de- clivity of the Capitoline Hill in the year 203, a copy of that of Trajan in general design, but of less noble proportions, heavier, and overladen with reliefs, without distinct architectural divis- ion, introduces the epoch of decay ushered in with the third century. The architecture of the Goldsmiths' Arch, erected in the Forum Boarium by the craft of goldsmiths in honor of this emperor, is completely swallowed up in a reckless superfluity of ornament and sculptured decoration. The elegant circular build- ing, with its Corinthian colonnade, known under the name of the Temple of Vesta, belongs to about the same period.

Under Caracalla was built one of the grandest and most splendid of the thermae, — structures whose massive ruins rise above the surrounding waste like some mountain which has been rent by a convulsion of nature. Even in the terrible devastation they have suffered, they show the magnificent symmetry of their innumerable apartments, appropriated to an

Ro7naii Architecture. — ThermcB of Diocletian. 297


infinite variety of baths, or arranged for promenades, for ball and other games, for reading, and for refined revelry. There are titanic halls, whose vaulted roofs lie at one's feet like broken masses of rock, partly hiding the splendid mosaic of the floors, partly overgrown by wild-thorn bushes and perennial roses. To the main building are annexed galleries, ante-rooms, and bathing-rooms, of which there were so many, that sixteen hundred marble chairs could be used at one time for bathing:- purposes. Priceless columns, princely paintings and sculptures, adorned this colossal structure, among whose ruins master-works such as the Farnese Bull, the Hercules, and the Flora, of Naples, have been discovered.

The architectural enterprises of this last period of Roman dominion continue to grow more and more ambitious and gigan- tic. The ruins of Aurelian's Temple of the Sun (270-275) formed, in their overthrow, the height now covered by the extensive garden of the Palazzo Colonna. The fragments which still remain standing, formerly known as the " Frontispiece di Nero," are a part of this most colossal of Roman ruins.' To the beginning of the fourth century (303) belong the Thermae of Diocletian, even more remarkable than the marvellous Baths of Caracalla, though essentially only an imitation of them. Their remains cover a vast surface. The principal hall, roofed in by three crossed arches, with a span of eighty feet, and sup- ported on columns of granite, was converted by Michael An- gelo into the Church of Santa Maria degli Angel i. It is one of the mightiest vaulted apartments in the world. Twenty-four hundred marble bathing-chairs may be counted in these thermas.

One of the most important works of Diocletian was that pal-

[1 Frontispiece, properly frontispice, — " Latin. /rci«5 and z;?j/i«(7, — the face or fore-front of a house ; but the term is more usually applied to the decorated entrance of a building " (Gwilt, Cyclopeedia of Architecture, Glossary). The word answers somewhat to our " facade ; " but the frontispiece was a separate building. It bore, perhaps, something the same relation to the main structure that the Tuileries does to the mass of buildings, with its courts and wings, called the Louvre. From these ruins Justinian took eight porphyry columns to adorn the Church of Santa Sophia at Constantinople.]


History of Art.

ace of his at Salona in Dalmatia, whose mighty ruins have given its name and existence to the modern town of Spalato. In this a striking deterioration of the antique type is everywhere con- spicuous : there are bellying friezes, misshapen pediments, and similar new architectural arrangements, — as, for instance, the immediate springing of the arch from the column, — proving how, already, the bonds of antique tradition had been broken

(Fig- 155).

Fig. 155- View o£ a Portion of the Palace of Diocletian at Salona.

The Basilica of Constantine, begun by Maxentius, had its origin in the closing period of ancient art. The three mighty cylindric arches of its northern lateral nave, as well as the remains of the piers of the southern nave, still tower up on the north side of the Forum. Between them once rose on powerful columns, of which the only specimen remaining is set up in the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, the three cross arches of the lofty central nave, with a span of about eighty feet, resembling those of the great halls in the Baths of Cara-

Roman Architecture : its Decay. 299

calla and of Diocletian. Fragments of the vaulted roof lie all about like huge masses of rock ; but, even in the midst of this devastation, the three remaining cylindrical arches, together with the apse, built on the nave at a later date, soar above the surrounding structures, and, rivalled only by the Colosseum, are conspicuous from every point of view above the far-reaching desolation of the ruined city. On the western side lay the principal apse ; and opposite, at the other end, one can distin- guish the entrance. The plan of the building is on a grand scale, conceived as yet in the genuine Roman spirit, vigorous in its technical conception, but somewhat careless in its exe- cution ; while the details already show unmistakable signs of deterioration. Other buildings of this period, such as the four-sided arch of Janus {yanus quadrifons) in the Forum Boarium, the clumsy colonnade of the Temple of Saturn on the Capitoline Hill, on the Forum side, as well as whatever is original on the Arch of Constantine, convey a still more striking impression of the decadence of ancient architecture.

Quite as crude, and erroneous in expression, but interesting on account of its design and construction, is another work of this closing period, — the memorial monument of Constantia, the daughter of the Emperor Constantine, outside of the Porta Pia. This is the last of the antique domed structures, and is fifty-two feet in diameter, encircled by a low gallery, which is separated from the main building by twelve pairs of columns, coupled by a common entablature, and connected by arches. Near by are windows used for lighting the dome. Though the forms here are entirely crude and misapplied, and the frieze bellying, the arrangement of the whole is of high interest, and prophetic of later development.

We shall only enumerate some of the most remarkable of the numerous remains in all parts of the Roman dominions which date from periods later than the third century. The Porte d'Arroux, at Autun in France (Fig. 156), may be classed among the stateliest examples of Roman gateways. Its two


Histo7y of Art.

great entrance-ways are flanked by two smaller ones ; above them an open arcade with Corinthian pilasters, the whole vig- orously and worthily handled. Orange is distinguished for a superb triumphal arch from the year 21 A.D., and an admi- rably-preserved theatre; and in Nimes there are important remains of an extensive amphitheatre. In Germany, Treves has some notable relics of this late epoch in the basilica, the amphitheatre, and the imperial palace ; but, if the inscription

Fig. 156. Porte d'Arroux at Autun.

on it be any authority, the Porta Nigra in the same town (Fig. 157) must be attributed to the first century. This is a double gateway, constructed in massive freestone ; both passage-ways being protected by projecting towers, with wall-surfaces relieved by rows of pilasters and archings, showing a barbaric crudity of detail, which seems by internal evidence to assign the structure to the late Roman, if not to the Merovingian period. The neighboring town of Fliessem possesses an extensive Roman villa site ; Igel, an elegant tower-shaped, richly-sculptured mau-

Ro?nan Architecture. — Works in the East. 301

soleum of the Secundini family ; Nennig, a villa remarkable for a splendid mosaic pavement ; and Badenweiler, some thermae, with their foundations still in a good state of preservation.

Of more importance than these, however, are the monuments, of every description which represent the later Roman period in the East, because in them the dissolution of ancient architecture,

T~~T uisa

Fig. 157. Porta Nigra at Treves.

under the influence of the fantastic Asiatic imagination, is con- summated. Twisted and often broken frontons, flat surfaces curved, — now outward, now inward, — united to the most gro- tesque changes in the details of construction, make up a style which may be described as the antique rococo. Extensive monu- ments of this kind are found in the midst of the Syrian desert, at Palmyra, the modern Tadmor, — gorgeous works, which seem to have embodied, as if by enchantment, the splendid age of Queen Zenobia. Nor less important are the kindred monu-


History of Art.

merits at Heliopolis (Baalbec), where an ancient cult of the sun-god called into existence countless magnificent structures. Even in the remote and rocky valleys of Arabia Petraea, at Petra, many varied remains of temples, theatres, mortuary monuments, and triumphal gateways, bear witness to this mixture of late

Fig. 158. Facade of Rock-cut Tomb at Petra, El Deir.

Roman art with OrientaJ fancy. All the bizarre peculiarities of this tendency are exhibited in the monumental fagadc, called El Deir, which we have given under F"ig. 158.


With the subjugation of Greece by the Romans, the national life of the Greeks had ceased, and with it had been extinguished the last sparks of that loftiest inspiration which had created the ideal forms of an earlier period of art. But this revolution was insufificient to annihilate the inborn plastic talent of the Hellenic race : on the contrary, the Romans' newly-awakened love for art aroused the slumbering art-nature of the Greeks to new life,

Rinnan Scnlptiirc. 303

and gave them abundance of opportunity and stimulus for work. It is true that this taste on the part of the Romans was founded, primarily, upon a passion for splendor among the upper classes, who craved the productions of the sculptor's art for mere en- joyment and for the adornment of a refined life ; but never has luxury been practised in greater perfection, or on a grander scale.

The tendency of sculpture corresponded to these outward con- ditions. New conceptions were no longer possible in the ideal realm of Hellenistic art, neither could essentially new creations be looked for ; but a free reproduction of famous older works of the period of glory, a taking up again of the broken thread, was yet possible. And so we witness the rise of a new Attic school of sculptors in Rome, or working for Rome, whose works attain to a perfection which it seems as though nothing could ever surpass. There is a delicacy of conception, a harmony of rhythmical movement and handling of lines, a melting softness, a tender transition of forms, and a complete mastery of techni- calities, which, taken collectively, have made these works the objects of deepest admiration. Only since the works of true Hellenic art of the best periods have become known in the course of the present century, it has been realized that these last, in addition to all those excellences, are instinct with an utterly unconscious naiveti and modesty, a loftiness and purity of imagination, beside which the later performances, with their conscious striving after effect, appear like cold reflections.

Though this school of art first appeared in Rome 150 B.C., it only rose into brilliant activity during the eras of Caesar and Augustus. Nearly all that is best and finest in the rich Italian collections of antique art is to be ascribed to that period. Among the great accumulations of these productions we can only call attention to the most important. The Medicean Venus in the Tribune of the Ufifizzi at Florence, inscribed as by Cle- omenes of Athens, son of Apollodorus, belongs to the most famous statues of this era. The goddess of love displays the


History of Art.

lineaments of her shapely form to the eye completely nude, but not in naive self-forgetfulness or in the sublime abandon of con- quest, but with conscious premeditation ; not without a certain shamefaced coyness, which is expressed in the position of the arms, with their effort at concealment of the bosom and thighs, and in the coy turning of the head to one side. With all the delicacy and perfection of artistic finish, with all the noble, rhythmical proportion of the limbs, this trait, which betrays the

calculating coquette, has but a cold effect.' Another much-prized work is the Farnese Hercules of the museum at Naples, at- tributed by its inscription to the Athenian Glycon. The mighty hero leans in an attitude of repose upon his club, and over it falls his lion-skin : the head is thought- fully bent forward. Strong as is the im- pression made upon us by the powerful limbs, they betray too great a consciousness of their own splendid development in the parade of muscle, the treatment of which is too full and almost turgid, while the strik- ingly-beautiful head is disproportionately small as compared with the body. A similar tendency is manifest in the famous Torso of the Belvedere at Rome, — a production of Apollonius the Athenian. It is a grandly Fig. 159. Caryatideof the and nobly planned and ideally-conceived rep-

resentation of a Hercules in repose, but in execution descends to this same feeble, showy ostentation. To this series belong the Caryatides with which Diogenes of Athens

[1 " The Medicean Venus, when found, was broken into eleven pieces : only the hands and a portion of the arms were wanting. There were ornaments in the ears, and her elegantly- arranged hair was gilded. She is sprung from the Cnidian Venus; only her nakedness did not now need to be accounted for by the bath. The dolphin at her side is merely a support, and has no reference to her having sprung from the sea." — C. O. Muller : Ancient Art and its Remains, § 160, 3.]

Roman Scidpture. — The Gladiator ; the Diana. 305

adorned the Pantheon ; whence came, as has been supposed, the statue now to be found in the Braccio Novo of the Vatican (Fig. 159), though its proportion hardly corresponds to the di- mensions of the building to which it has been attributed.

Quite the opposite of this ideal tendency is observed in the Borghese Gladiator of the Louvre in Paris, a creation attributed to Agasias of Ephesus, — a work expressing most powerfully and most artistically the straining of all the forces to the utmost, but distinguished by an elasticity and rapidity of movement which seems to defy the rigidity of the marble. Here we trace the tendency suggested in the school of Pergamus to its final result. The bold combatant is portrayed in the act of a strong forward stride. The whole weight of the trunk, thrown far for- ward, rests upon the right foot ; whilst the left is barely resting on the springing toes, in the act of his impetuous advance. The left arm, thrown up and forward, shades the face, which is fixed on his antagonist with an intense concentration of gaze ; while the short sword seems to be biding its time in the right hand, which is thrown backward. The boldness and power of the representation, and the perfect mastery exhibited in the sharp chiselling of the forms of the body, are worthy of all admiration ; but even here one can see that a forced, striking effect is calculated upon throughout the entire composition.

The origin of such efforts for effect is to be attributed not only to the Apollo of the Belvedere, described above on page 238, but likewise to the Diana of Versailles in the Museum of the Louvre. Though inferior to the Apollo in delicacy and completeness, she likewise affords us an image of the goddess, conceived in a moment of impassioned effective action, as she speeds beside her hind on flying sandal, wearing the short Doric chiton, as though her sole concern were the following of the joyous chase. In other works there appears, side by side with a high perfection of form, an allegorical tendency, which ap- pealed specially to the Roman genius ; though sometimes it was pervaded by a naive and frolicsome gayety, as in the case of


History of Art.

the fine Colossus of the Nile in the Vatican (Fig. i6o), — a work more probably to be ascribed to the era of the Diadochi. The mighty river-god, stretched out in comfortable enjoyment, is watchins: with mild benevolence the comical antics of a tribe of pygmy-like, childish forms, which climb up over his huge body, tumble about the giant limbs, swing themselves on his neck and shoulder, and are even bold enough to clamber to the top of his horn of plenty. The pleasant humor and fascinat- ing playfulness of this cheery representation are charming ; for, of course, it is not seen in a flash that the sixteen roguish pyg- mies arc meant to indicate just so many stadia in the rise and inundation of the river.

Fig. i6o. The Nile reposing. Vatican.

The greatness of this period in the imitation of older Greek works of art, and its noble success in the representation of the mightiest colossi, are evident from the two horse-taming Dioscuri of Monte Cavallo at Rome, — a sublime conception, which un- doubtedly had its original in the golden age of the best Greek art, even if the later theory, which attributes it immediately to the hand of Phidias or Praxiteles, cannot be proved. The

Roman Sailpture. — The Antinous. 307

Sleeping Ariadne of the Vatican is also full of grace, combined with striking loftiness of conception ; and it is especially re- markable for the beautiful and rich treatment of the drapery.

A new impulse was given to idealistic sculpture by Hadrian, whose predilection for all that was Greek gave manifold occasion for the copying of antique productions, including those of the more severely-classical style ; thus developing by exercise a large amount of imitative talent. These works are invariably distinguished by rare, peculiar delicacy of form ; but their treat- ment of subject aims at a polish which degenerates into soul- lessness, and noticeably falls short of the genial vivacity of earlier efforts. Numerous statues of this type are scattered through the various museums. Among the most interesting is the Pallas of Velletri in the Museum of the Louvre, grandly conceived and severe in design, but insipid in execution. But even at this late epoch ancient sculpture produced a new ideal form, that of the Antinous, which occurs many times, and often represented with a high degree of artistic perfection. The original was a beautiful youth, a darling of the emperor, who drowned himself in the deep waters of the Nile as a myste- rious propitiat9ry sacrifice for his master. Hadrian honored his memory by founding a city called Antinoe, and by setting up countless images of the favorite, which idealized him in every conceivable way ; though all were characterized by an expres- sion of thoughtful melancholy in the drooping head, by brows overshadowed with clustering curls, and by a suggestion of sadness in the curve of the voluptuous mouth. Specimens may be seen in the Vatican and in the Lateran at Rome.

Although the stamp of Greek art may be unmistakably recog- nized in all these works, another branch of sculpture has its germ primarily in Roman manners and the Roman habits of thought ; viz., portraiture. This is closely connected with the importance which the Roman mind attached to the individual citizen with his aggregate peculiarities. The tendency towards the preservation of particular likenesses was long before ap-


History of Art.

parent in the old-time custom of setting up ancestral images {imagines), to which a special apartment was assigned in the dwelling of every noble family, a privilege distinguishing the patrician from the plebeian. These likenesses were moulded in wax, and doubtless were more admirable in the matter of out- ward resemblance to the original than for lofty artistic percep- tion ; but, with the growth of Hellenistic sculpture, it came to be the custom in Rome to use the nobler materials of marble.

Fig. i6i. Roman Portrait-Statues with the Toga (Togata).

and even of bronze, in the execution of these portraits. In this matter the Roman custom again differs sharply from the Greek. Whilst Hellenistic art idealized the individual form, and only made such use of drapery, even in the airy disposition of it about the figure, as seemed to be demanded for the interpreta- tion of characteristics, the Romans started with the idea of representing the individual appearance with the utmost exact- ness, either in the voluminous drapery of peace, the toga, or in complete warlike paraphernalia: hence the portrait-statues

Roman Sculpture. — Portrait- Statues. 309

are distinguished as togatce (Fig. 161) and thoracatcB (Fig. 163). As the Roman style of dress is altogether heavier and more ungainly than the Greek, a more substantial, realistic expres- sion, consistent with its other characteristics, is given to such works in consequence of this habit of exact reproduction. But, with the invasion of the manners of Greece, her costumes likewise became fashionable among the effeminate Romans ; and from that time began an idealistic treatment of portraiture. Such statues were called Achillean. From that time the fashion of representing the emperors under the form of Jupiter or other divinities came into vogue ; whilst their consorts were delineated with the attributes of a Juno or a Venus, as the case might be. But, quite apart from such idealization, the female portraits of this school were most successful ; and one is frequently impressed by the matronly dig- nity, the grace and loveliness of the true womanly type, in the grave, nobly-draped figures, sitting or standing, in the dainty though somewhat studied Greek garb.

The two seated statues of Agrippina, wife of Germanicus, preserved in the Museum at Naples and the Capitoline Museum at Rome, are of a perfect beauty ; and not less so are the figures, also seated, of the so-called Women of Herculaneum in the Dresden Museum, — noble women, in whom an in- comparable grace is only equalled by a womanly dignity and patrician bearing. To this class belongs also the statue called the Pudicitia in the Vatican (Fig. 162), — an embodiment of most attractive, chaste womanliness, combined with a high perfection in the treatment of the drapery. Among the male statues of this kind may be mentioned the marble statue of Augustus

Fig. 162. The Pudicitia (Modesty). Vatican.


History of Art.

(Fig. 163), found in the year 1863 near Prima Porta, not far from Rome, and unsurpassed for the nobleness of its concep- tion and the delicacy of its artistic execution, besides being in

Fig. 163. Marble Slatue of Augustus.

an excellent state of preservation. The two marble equestrian statues of M. Nonius Balbus and his son, found in Hercula- neum, betray the same sort of excellence, and to a like degree a touch of Greek idealism, being full of refinement and pol-

Ro7nan Sculpture. — Portrait- Statues.


ishccl distinction, and are productions of the Augustan epoch. Much less interesting, but still to be commended for a simple naturalness of finish and careful carrying-out of detail, is the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, a gilded bronze, which at present adorns the Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome. The vigorous stepping of the horse, the benevolent pose of the rider, who stretches out his right hand re-assuringly, are well and strikingly expressed.

The multitude of statues and busts of the emperors and their relatives, as well as of other illustrious Romans of both sexes, is almost innumerable ; but in none of them did the idealistic conception by any means do away with the distinct individual

L. Verus.

M. Aurelius. Fig. 164. Busts of Roman Emperors.


presentment, which appealed, after all, more strongly to the Roman mind. The character of the personality is, for the most part, delicately and accurately fixed with unrivalled viva- city : so that the critical inspection of, for instance, the large collection of portrait-busts in the Capitoline Museum, is of high interest in a psychological point of view ; one of the most complete sets of plastic illustrations to Roman history being here preserved to us (compare Fig. 164). Side by side with works displaying skilful, even masterly handling, we find many inferior productions ; a fact easily explained, when we recollect that it was prescribed as a law to every Roman to set up an

3 1 2 History oj Art.

image of the reigning emperor in his house. Many tasteless innovations were thus made in the course of time, such as the employment of precious colored marble for busts, or the addi- tion of a movable head-gear to feminine figures, which, with the changing mode, could be replaced by another, perhaps still uglier and more tasteless, decoration.

With plastic portraiture historical representation went hand in hand, and the diligent cultivation of this branch of art found an independent school in Roman sculpture. The intense realism of the Romans is here preserved in full force ; for, far removed from the high ideality with which Hellenic art con- ceived of even historic occurrences, the Romans aimed at the most accurate delineation of the actual, bringing out into bold relief the warlike enterprises, the battles, victories, and triumphs of the Imperator. Roman sculpture tells its story as fully and verbosely as the Oriental ; but a touch of Greek beauty informs it, and dowers it with life and variety. It was necessary in this case, also, to glorify the individual ; and the design and exe- cution of the whole are regulated with this view. The neces- sity of grouping, for the most part, in as limited a space as was consistent with reality, a large number of figures, led to an arrangement of the relievo, which is widely removed from the fine and polished treatment of Hellenic art. Sculpture loses itself in the realm of painting, when, taking a deeper background, it arranges its figures on different planes by grada- tions of modelling : those in the foreground often standing out completely from the surface, and thus retaining that substantial form which appeared so essential to the Roman conception ; while the remaining figures, crowded together, gradually recede into the background.

The reliefs on the Arch of Titus in Rome belong to the earli- est and most important works of this kind. On the inner wall, at the side, one sees the Imperator, crowned by a Victory, led by Rome, solemnly entering his triumphal arch in his chariot drawn by four horses ; while on the other side the precious

Roman Sculpttire. — Trajan s Arch.


spoils of the Temple at Jerusalem, among them the Seven- branched Candlestick, are being borne along. The sacrifice is portrayed upon the somewhat diminutive relief of the outer frieze. A fresh, strong life, free movement, and noble dignity, characterize this work.

The peculiar Roman manner shows itself still more decidedly in the historical relievos on the various monuments of Trajan, especially in the numerous remains of Trajan's Arch, which were worked into the Triumphal Arch of Constantine ; in the reliefs of the attica ; the statues of Dacian prisoners on the

Fig. 165. Portion of Reiicf on Trajan's Column.

postament, above the columns ; the medallions above the side- entrances ; and the reliefs on the two outer ends and the inside walls of the archway. These last are most lifelike delineations of the battles of the emperor against the Dacians and the Par- thians ; while the first commemorate the procession that cele- brated the triumph over these conquered peoples, as well as other public actions ; and the medallions present scenes from the private life of the emperor, such as sacrificial and hunting scenes. Very important in this connection are the continuous reliefs, wound like a spiral ribbon, most unfavorably for purposes


History of Art.

of observation, from the base to the summit of Trajan's Column, and containing an inexhaustibly rich delineation of the em- peror's warlike deeds against the Dacians (Figs. 165, 166). The various incidents of a campaign are here depicted, every- where with singular life and accuracy : fight and repulse, pas- sionate combat and humiliating overthrow, all have one pur- pose of characteristic expression ; and, though no element of

■Mill llll "ifl '


Fig. 166. Portion of Relief on Trajan's Column.

loftier idealism makes itself felt, the truth and force and the historic reality of the embodiment holds one spell-bound.

Some valuable remains have also been preserved from the reign of Antoninus Pius ; as, for instance, two reliefs from a triumphal arch of this emperor, at present in the Palazzo del Conservatore at the Capitol. One commemorates the dedica-

Roman Sculpture. — Allegorical Works. 315

tion of the temple to Faustina, the colonnades of which still exist ; the other the apotheosis of the empress, who is borne upward, out of the flames of the funeral pyre, by the goddess of victory. Akin to these are the reliefs on a postament now set up in the garden of the Vatican (Giardino della Pigna), which formerly belonged to a column of Antoninus Pius, raised to the memory of the deceased emperor A.D. 161. In front, the

Fig. 167. Apotheosis of Antoninus Pius and his Empress. Relief from the Base of the Column of

Antoninus Pius.

apotheosis of the emperor and his spouse is represented, ideal- ized, and with delicately-executed figures, but cold and stiff, like most allegorical works (Fig. 167). On the two other sides there are processions of galloping horsemen in lively movement, but wildly and irregularly grouped, without regard to architect- ural symmetry, — a suggestive symptom of incipient decay.

The power of simple and forcible historic representation was re-awakened under the dominion of Marcus Aurelius, as is apparent from a retrospective glance at the monuments of


History of Art.

the time of Trajan ; though these latter are scarcely equalled in energy, and fresh, abounding vitality. The reliefs on the emperor's monumental column, delineations of liis wars with the Marcomanni and Quadi, bear witness to a simple, healthy tone ; likewise the four great reliefs in the stairway-hall of the Palazzo del Conservate at Rome, which also belong to a memorial monument in honor of this emperor, and exhibit a clear, free, skilful treatment.

The predestined decadence in the historical sculpture of the Romans shows itself in the relief on the Arch of Septimius Severus (A.D. 203), which not only disdains all architectural rules in its wild, irregular divisions, but leaves a disagreeable impres-

Fig. 168. Relief from tlie Arch of Cuiistantine.

sion by its entire treatment, which is dry and spiritless. Full bankruptcy is proclaimed by the reliefs on the Arch of Constan- tine, which belong properly to his age, and come down to us in all their stiff ugliness, lifeless and spiritless, showing no knowledge of the human body, and being even at times barbaric in their crudeness (Fig. 168).

A remarkable and particularly numerous class of monuments, which, in more than one respect, enlarge the scope of Roman sculpture, have not yet been alluded to : I refer to the sar- cophagus reliefs. The custom of burying, instead of burning, the dead, never quite died out in ancient times, but only became a universal rule during the reign of the Antonines. The em-

Roman Sculpture. — Sarcophagi. 3 1 7

ployment and artistic construction of sarcophagi is, of course, connected with this fact ; and therefore they belong, almost without exception, to the period of decadence already set in. Moreover, we recognize in them, for the most part, works of a professional, manufactured kind, since they were gotten up in stock at the workshops, and display frequent repetitions of the same composition. Nevertheless, the enormous number of those monuments arouses a deep interest, because a quantity of antique compositions of an earlier period are reproduced upon them. With a few exceptions, when incidents of real life are represented, the outside of these sarcophagi is adorned with an infinite variety of scenes illustrative of the ancient myths of gods and heroes. Occasionally the interest of the subject chosen is the only reason for that choice, as in some favorite objects of this kind, such as the scenes from the life of Achilles on the superb great sarcophagus in the Museum of the Capitol, or the frequently-recurring battles of the Amazons. As a rule, however, such myths are employed as either contain or suggest a thought which bears upon death, separation, and re-union. Here is expressed, in a way that is clearly intelligible as well as thoughtful and often touchingly beautiful, that deep longing for another, better life, which gives a stamp of earnest melan- choly to that old world in its passing away, and points to the necessity of a new, consoling revelation, in view of the unsatis- fying condition of existing things. Thus we often find presenta- tions of the Rape of Proserpine, of the Return of Alcestis or Protesilaus from Hades, and symbols of the hope of re-union with those separated by death ; and, furthermore, the profound- ly thoughtful myths of Amor and Psyche, of Prometheus (Fig. 169), of Luna and Endymion, or scenes from the Bacchic myths, which allowed of various symbolic interpretations, and many others. The artistic merit of these productions is usually of an inferior order, the grouping often confused and crowded, the drawing unskilful, the treatment of the forms of the body defective, the execution insipid, angular, and hard ; but, on the


History of Art.

other hand, they are not lacking in a wealth of surprisingly- beautiful and spirited motives, which suggest originals belong- ing to the best time of antiquity, and reflect for us, in a manner, many a lost work of noblest art. Besides these, a small number of such productions, even judging by their execution, must be relegated, most undoubtedly, to a better epoch.

Among the lesser arts, the cutting of precious stones was carried to a high degree of perfection among the splendor-loving Romans. In the time of Augustus, the Greek master Dios- corides enjoyed the highest reputation in the exercise of this profession. The two most famous and magnificent cameos,

Fig. i6(). Sarcophagus in the Capitoliiie Museum.

which in size, and richness of workmanship, surpass all others, are attributed to the best period of the art. One of them, in the Imperial Collection at Vienna, is of the astonishing size of nine inches wide by eight inches high, and exhibits a richly-executed allegorical glorification of Augustus, who appears as Jupiter enthroned beside Rome personified. Exactly similar is the design on the second stone, preserved in the cabinet of the Louvre at Paris, — except that it is dedicated to Tiberius, — and even excels the first in size and splendor. It measures thirteen inches in height, and eleven inches in width. The same love of elegance among the Romans was the incentive to the creation of wonderful fabrics in many-colored glassware.

Roman Painting. 3 1 9

The most celebrated work of this kind is the Portland Vase in the British Museum at London, — a superb work in deep-blue glass, ten inches in height, with an upper layer of white glass, upon which figures are cut, showing white on a blue ground.


Painting, as well as the other arts, was transmitted to the Romans from the Greeks ; and we have already, in our review of Hellenistic art, made mention of the masters, who, up to the time of Hadrian, bear witness to a brilliant after-blossoming of this branch of antique art. It is a noticeable fact, however, that, while among the sculptors of this era scarcely a Roman name occurs, there is no lack of Romans who are prominent as painters. When we consider that the art of painting flourished even among the Etruscans, it is entirely probable that the Ital- ian nations may have had a decided talent in this direction. In the days of the republic, as far back as 300 B.C., Fabius Pictor painted the Temple of Salus ; and the poet Pacuvius (200 B.C.) seems to have done the same kind of work. Ludius was espe- cially famous in the time of Augustus, not to mention other Roman names. But, as we know was the case with the works of the last-named painter, these productions must have been, for the most part, of a decorative nature ; for the v/orks of a higher order emanated invariably from Greek hands, and the Romans themselves conceded the first rank to the Hellenes. Portrait- painting was specially popular ; and, even towards the end of the republic, there was a certain woman-artist, Lala (properly Laid) of Cyzicus, who had made herself a great name in her profession.

The discovery and excavation of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the exploration of the Baths of Titus and of many subterranean tombs in the neighborhood of Rome, have brought to light numerous illustrations of an important branch of Roman paint- ing ; and the museum at Naples is a repository of the finest and most valuable specimens. The pictures from Herculaneum and

320 History of Art.

Pompeii ' belong, as do the buildings of the towns themselves, to the transition period from Hellenistic to Roman art, and are frequently copies of old Grecian masterpieces, as is the case with the sculpture of the same epoch. They are either executed in fresco on wet lime, or, more rarely, on a dry ground in dis- temper, on a foundation of extraordinarily fine smooth plaster. The symmetry of the whole witnesses to the predominance of a strict architectural arrangement. The wall-surfaces are painted with a solid background, usually of a deep, warm red, or a soft, subdued yellow ; though occasionally, but much more rarely, black, blue, green, or purple, are used. A band of a different, darker color, is usually carried like a socle around the base of the wall ; and sometimes the upper part of the wall is divided from the rest by a similar stripe, in the manner of a frieze. The central space, so bordered, is adorned by disconnected, airy figures, dancing-girls, genii, and the like, or else by complete pictures of some given subject. Incidents out of real life are very seldom taken as subjects for representation ; but, when so employed, the result is often charming, uniting a high order of beauty with graceful dignity. The figures are more frequently suggested by the world of fable, the Bacchic and other myths, centaurs and centauresses, bacchantes, satyrs, and similar crea- tures ; the most important among these productions presenting scenes from the heroic legends or myths, and often being copies of famous Grecian masterpieces. There is, for example, the Sacrifice of Iphigenia, the Death of Patroclus, the Re-union of Ulysses and Euma^us, the Anger of Achilles, the Education of Achilles by Chiron, the Recognition of Orestes by Iphigenia, the Parting of Achilles from Priseis (Fig. 170), the Deliverance of Andromeda by Perseus, the Victory of Theseus over the Minotaur, &c. : in short, all the joyous, beautiful world of the antique legends and myths lives again before our eyes m

1 Denkmaler der Kunst, plate 22. Zahn : Die schiinste Ornamente und nierkwiirdigsten Gemalde von Herculanum und Pompeii. Ternite : Wandgemalde aus Pompeii und Hercula- num. R. Wiegmann : Die Malerei der Alten. Helbig : Die campanischen Wandgemalde.

Ro77tan Painting. — Pompeii.


all the glow and glory of lovely hues. The coloring is bright and soft, now in warmer, now in cooler tints, the modelling sometimes only slightly suggested, sometimes carried out with greater precision ; while in other respects the technical treat- ment, as well as the spirit, value, and character of the composi-

Fig. 170. The Parting of Acliilles and Briseis. Wall-Painting from Pompeii.

tion, vary greatly. But the invariable result is cheerily sugges- tive of a gay, charming existence of pleasurable ease.

This cheerful character of the whole is still further and more decidedly augmented by the frequent harmless, merry, and naive genre-pictures (Fig. 171), by landscapes carelessly intro-


History of Art.

duced, by bits of still-life, fruit, and animals, and, further- more, by an imitation of architecture, painted in perspective, and built up with slender, delicate reeds ; all this being nothing more than elegant trifling, and not done with any deliberate idea of deception.

Fig. 171. Genre-Subject. Wall-Painting from Pompeii.

Essentially different from the character of these productions is an extended picture in mosaic, which once adorned the pave- ment in the so-called House of the Faun,' and represents one of Alexander's battles. The composition is thoroughly artistic, with a rich background in perspective : the groups are disposed in impassioned movement ; and the decisive moment of the battle in its most striking features is seized upon, and fixed. A ponderous lance-thrust of the victorious Alexander has just done to death the general of Darius's army, overthrowing both horse and rider : the Asiatic warriors fall back in overwhelming terror, the horses wildly rearing, scarcely restrained by their

[1 Now in the museum at Naples.]

Roman Paijiting. — Frescos and Mosaics. 323

leaders and the charioteers. Darius himself anxiously leans forward, dreading the fateful catastrophe, forgetting all else in that first moment : the next instant all is lost in panic-stricken flight. The portion of the picture representing the compan- ions of Alexander is unfortunately destroyed, to a great extent. Apart from solitary instances of defect in form, the drawing and grouping are admirable, the coloring wonderfully lifelike ; and the mechanical setting of the smallest stones is executed with infinite care and pains. The expression of ardent action has a stamp about it which gives one an idea of the power of the great master-works of Greek painting.

In Rome, the Aldobrandini Marriage in the Vatican, a wall- painting full of tender, spiritual grace, must be placed in the same category with these Pompeian works, by virtue of its light, clear execution. Many other such productions, some very lovely, are found in tombs in the environs. When the so-called ancestral house of Tiberius was excavated on the Palatine (in 1869), wall-paintings of rare excellence were discovered, such as light decorative works connected with pictures of inde- pendent meaning, ideal scenes, genre-pictures, and ornamental subjects ; as, for instance, wreaths of foliage of wonderful deli- cacy, and replete with artistic charm. On the other hand, we find the extensive mosaics from the Baths of Caracalla, which now form the pavement of a great hall in the Lateran, crude representations of gladiators, common in subject, and clumsy in technical detail. Of this class are the wild-beast and gladi- ator combats in the principal hall of the Villa Borghese. To the most exquisite pavement-mosaics belong those of Nennig and of Vilbel, the last in the museum at Darmstadt, which also contains the expressive Orpheus of Rottweil.



In order to gain a more complete idea of the artistic endow- ments of the peoples of classic antiquity, we will, in closing, cast a glance at the productions of those industrial handicrafts which border, as it were, upon the realm of creative art. All epochs of a healthy art-life, developing itself without restraint from the national genius, agree in the fact that handicraft is in- dissolubly bound up with art ; so that the latter is developed upon the solid technical basis of the former, to which it con- tinually lends a nobler stamp, a higher consecration. But this union never attained to such perfection as with the Greeks. Had all the productions of their architecture, sculpture, and painting, vanished, leaving no trace behind, the evidence given us by the utensils and household vessels, articles of ornament, and equipment of all kinds, found chiefly in the tombs, but likewise in the dwellings, of Pompeii, would alone convince us of the incomparably fine artistic feeling of this highly-gifted people. The important fact, that, in the speech of the Hel- lenes, the same word, tcchne, is employed to express the activity and skill of the artist as of the handicraftsman, is in itself a proof of the intimate mutual relationship between them.

The Etruscans also shared in this gift for artistic workman- ship ; and their work in terra-cotta and brass, as well as their manipulation of the precious metals, was highly esteemed. We have already given specimens of it in the superb bronze mirrors with engraved designs (Fig. 142). The Romans at last fell heirs to a rich double legacy from both peoples, and were able 324

Artistic Handicrafts. 325

not only to adorn their daily life with the creations of an earlier time, but to turn to account the talent of Grecian workmen for their own uses. The period following the end of the republic developed among them a luxury, which, continually increasing under the emperors, attained to its most gorgeous culmination in the time of Hadrian. No era of history can rival the solidity and the noble type of that Roman splendor which constantly absorbed new life and freshness from the well-springs of the Grecian sense of beauty. Without even desiring to attempt a sketch of the history of ancient artistic handicrafts, we will content ourselves with hints as to their characteristics.

The dominant trait in the life of all classic antiquity was the desire to make all outward existence inhale beauty, as it were, with the air. The poorest household utensils, the most insig- nificant articles of daily use, give as clear proof of this real artistic instinct as the sublime creations of monumental art. Thence may be traced the origin of the plain law, everywhere apparent, that perfect fitness in union with a sense of ideal beauty should govern all modifications of form. Let us begin with the simplest, — with the vessels and utensils, made of burnt clay, for the kitchen, the storeroom, and the every-day family table. A rhythmic undulation of outline, a perfectly clear and appropriate construction of parts, and a finely-defined individu- ality, express, in all cases, the purpose and the use of the uten- sil. The shapes of the different vessels are as infinitely various as the Greek language is wonderfully rich in designations for them. It is a pure artistic delight for the eye to trace in the collections these hundred-fold variations in the harmoniously- undulating outlines. Eurythmia, a complete beauty of accu- rate and well-proportioned action, is the foundation law here, as in all Greek work.

But disproportionate interest is always felt in those objects upon which greater artistic elaboration has been lavished, and which were intended for the use of the rich, or for gifts on fes- tive occasions. To this class belong the precious vases which


History of Art.

were intended as prizes for the victors in the Pan-Athenaian games, and were remarkable for beautiful shape, felicitous ad- justment of parts, and noble artistic decoration (Fig. 172, a, b, c, d) ; here, also, the graceful hydrias, receptacles for water at


Fig. 172. Greek Prize-Vases.

the fountain, favorite wedding-presents for a bride ; here the capacious two-handled amphorae for holding liquids (Fig. 173, a, b) ; here, especially, the great mixing-vessels {craterce), in which, before the meal, the wine was mixed with water, and then



Fig. 173. Greek Amphorse and Craterse.

cooled, and which play so important a part in the surroundings of the Homeric heroes (Fig. 173, c, d). Such vessels were by no means confined to clay, but were often fashioned in metal, sometimes even in silver, gold, or electrum ; for the most famous

Artistic Handicrafts. — Drinking- Horns. 327

masters of the great art of sculpture not unfrequently delighted in turning their hands to such works of elegant skill. Splendid specimens of the best Greek style — sometimes in clay, with painted and gilded relievos ; sometimes wrought in silver, and even in gold — have been discovered in the mound-sepulchres of the Crimea, and placed in the museum at St. Petersburg. We have already given examples of the style and order of painting which adorned the greater proportion of the antique vases and

Fig. 174. Greek Drinking-Homs.

utensils in Figs. 133-135. To a special class, great favorites with the ancient artisans, appertained the drinking-horns (Fig. 174), sculpture vying with painting to endow them with beauty ; the last adorning the rim with figurative representations, the first with an inventive genius which was simply inexhaustible, often transforming the pomts of the horns into heads of ani- mals. We find the heads of a fox or 'a dog ici), a greyhound {c), a mule id), a horse {i), a hanged horse (li), a griffin (/, g), a panther {k), a lion (r) ; and even humorous combinations of two diverse half-heads of animals, like the sheep and boar (p), are of frequent occurrence.


History of Art.

Occasionally moulding in clay rises to the rank of artistic creation in certain small, single objects intended as useful ornaments, as well as in little figures and groups. Of this description are the charming little figures, about a span long, found in Boeotian tombs at Tanagra, and received a short time ago at the Museum of Berlin.^ Most of them are genre-fig- ures ; as, for instance, that of a young girl, who is caressing a

Fig. 175. Roman Marble Vases.

bird sitting on her shoulder, or some other representation of a pleasant, cheerful, humorous, and simple kind, — exquisite pro- ductions, admirable not only for perfect loveliness of form, but for the charming effect of color, given not only to the drapery, but

[1 For a beautiful example, see the Gazette Arch^ologique, January, 1877. Paris. Also Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 1875, April, May, June. The collection of these figures in the Louvre far surpasses that of the Museum of Berlin.]

Artistic Handicrafts. — Ti'ipods and Craters. 329

also to the undraped portions, especially the tiny head, by paint- ing the whole, and affording us, owing to the unusual state of preservation in which they were found, a most unexpected specimen of the effect of antique polychrome in works of sculpture.

Luxury in the construction of vessels for use and ornament, by the employment of precious material of all kinds, reached

Fig. 176. Antique Tripods and Censers.

the highest point with the Romans. Vessels of gold and silver, others of precious stones, cut and mounted in gold, vied with chalices of onyx and agate, with costly glass goblets, with the famous Murrhenian vases, and last, not least, with those superb great craterae of alabaster, marble, granite, and porphyry, made valuable, partly by the difficulty of their mechanical execution, partly by their decoration with symbolical reliefs, and rising, by reason of their sculpturesque treatment, to the importance

2,3^ History of Art.

of original works of art (Fig. 175). We have a fine specimen of the noble richness and highly-imaginative artistic decora- tions of vessels in metal in the Hildesheim silver recently discovered, and now in the museum at Berlin.

In this class of articles should be included the beautiful bronze tripods, together with their accompanying censers (Fig. 176), which were remarkable for noble form and artistic orna- ment ; but, above all, the numerous candelabra, the largest collection of which, taken from Pompeii and Herculaneum, is preserved in the museum at Naples. Those among them which are of less finished execution may be distinguished as the work of Italian artisans : they are dull and monotonous in organi- zation, or give evidence of a tendency towards Etruscan taste in the somewhat arbitrary introduction of little human figures climbing and sitting, or of all sorts of little animals. We see in others, on the other hand (Fig. 177, b, d, e), the systematic construction, the rhythmical symmetry, and the exquisite har- mony, of true Greek art. As an exceptional case, there may predominate a naturalistic motive, as in the design at c, in which the single lamps are suspended by chains from the branches of a tree. According to its sensible fashion, ancient art always supports the base on the feet of animals in order to signify the movability of these graceful pieces of furniture. When, in order that the light may be more widely diffused by being lifted up, the lamps belonging to these candelabra are placed upon their flat top, they, too, delight the eye by their elegant shape and manifold fanciful decoration. Of more stately proportions, with more abundant sculptured ornaments, were the great marble candelabra (Fig. 177 a), of which a great many fine specimens may be met with in the Galleria de' Candelabri of the Vatican.

The other articles used in daily life were not less beautiful and splendid, with this difference, that whereas with the Greeks the chief aim and object was the expression of beauty, the Romans laid most stress upon the elegance and cost of mate-

Artistic Handicraft. — The Law of Treatment. 331

rial. Not only the clothing of men and women, the equipment and armor of warriors, but all utensils of the most varied uses, — such as tables and chairs, vehicles, musical instruments, and every thing beside, — give evidence of that delicately culti- vated sense of beauty which is only satisfied when it finds expression in noble form and artistic adornment. And every-

Fig. 177. Antique Candelabra in Bronze and Marble.

where we see that the ancient worker in artistic handicraft, especially the Greek, follows one golden rule of action, — care- fully to observe, in regard to any material used, the mode of treatment demanded by its peculiar characteristics, in the form of the whole, the construction of parts, and also in the decora- tion, so that one material may never mask its identity under


History of Art.

the appearance of another, but that each may reveal itself artistically under its own especial form of expression.

We would here bring into pre-eminent notice the incomparably beautiful antique personal ornaments, which, with their noble conception and imaginative symbolic execution, will serve as a model for all time, in such profusion have they been dis- covered. The Romans, and much more the Greeks, despised the coarse, material pomp which bedizens itself with massive adornments in precious metals, but of common workmanship. Even the barbaric Scythian tribes, of what is now the modern Crimea, did homage to the genius of Greek beauty.

Fig. 178. Antique Gold Ornaments.

The treasures recovered from the tombs of Kertsch (Panti- kapaion), and preserved in the collections at St. Petersburg, — golden wreaths and diadems, ear-rings and breastpins, necklaces, bracelets, and finger-rings, even golden ornaments and diminu- tive figures (which used to be fastened to the garments, so that they appeared to be interwoven with their tissue), — all belong to the most splendid specimens of their kind. There are choice examples of Etruscan ornaments in the Museo Gregoriano of

Artistic Handicraft. — Arms and Armor. 333

the Vatican, in the British Museum at London, in the Louvre at Paris, and in the united collections at Munich. Under Fig. 178 we give a few specimens of antique ornaments, in order to afford some idea of the exquisite workmanship and graceful ingenuity which they exhibit.

The productions of the armorer and worker in weapons de- serve to rank with these ; for they wrought their superb fabrics, not only in baser metal, but in gold and silver. Even with the

Fig. 179. Roman Armor.

Greeks, warlike equipment, particularly the breastplate and hel- met, as well as the shield, was an object of rich artistic adorning. As far back as the heroic age, great stress was laid upon the noble ornamentation of weapons and armor. Homer delights in pleasing the ears of his listeners by descriptive recitals : the shield of his favorite hero is wrought by the very hand of Hephaestus himself, thus ennobling for all time the profession of the armorer. The accoutrement of the Romans differed only from that of the Greeks, which preceded it, by being stronger and heavier, and in the apparent passion for almost overloading

334 History of Art.

helm and harness with carving. The statue of Augustus at Prima Porta (Fig. 163) offers us a fine example of elaborate equipments; while in Fig. 179 we have other specimens of richly-sculptured Roman armor. Another armorial relic most remarkable for excellence of carving is a superb breastplate in the British Museum at London.

Finally, the rare specimens of work in wood which have come down to us from Greek antiquity must not be overlooked. They were found in the tombs of Kertsch, and now form part of the unrivalled antique collection from the Crimea, in the museum at St. Petersburg. There is one sarcophagus with exquisite carving, another covered with pictures that have almost faded away, and fragments of some object, supposed to be a lyre, adorned with fine reliefs. Thus we are struck, even here, in the most insignificant material, with the same fine artistic spirit that ennobles the poorest substance ; lacking the stamp of which, the most costly material was of no value in the eyes of a cultured antiquity.






Deep in the womb of the ancient world, fast sinking to decay, the germs of a new life spring into being. Christianity begins, amid oppression and persecution, its world-convulsing course, penetrating with its blessed truth, slowly but irresistibly, the souls of men, and silently creating a new central core of life, shortly destined to reveal itself in triumph, so soon as the rotten shell of heathen living shall crack and fall asunder. As this new truth begins to leaven the hearts of men, made sorrow- ful by the departure of ancient glory and the general decay of morality ; as it gives them the beautiful certainty of salvation and redemption, and, in the midst of a universal ruin, strength- ens the ever-increasing multitude of the faithful to a confident endurance through trouble and death, — the soul of the Chris- tian is irresistibly impelled to give an outward expression to its inmost feelings ; to enhance by a worthy ritual the solemn dignity of divine service ; to bring into the places of public assemblage visible symbols of the joyful certainty of the new covenant ; to give token, in the graves of the beloved dead, of its confidence in a future eternal re-union.

Long before the public recognition of Christianity by Con- stantine, that inward need of the young church had found its expression in characteristic forms. But, as all life still bore the impress of the dominion of the Caesars, even that striving after the outward representation of the new theological ideas was


338 History of Art.

obliged to satisfy itself at first with the forms already offered to it by the art of Pagan times ; and so it happened that the youthful, world-agitating ideas of Christianity were fain to put on the corporeal garb of ancient, dying art. The old casks must be filled with new wine, until it should finally burst their decayed bands, and flow into a new art-mould as into a vessel belonging only to itself. So wonderful and so profound, how- ever, are the laws of the inner life of humanity, that only by this road the possibility of an immeasurably rich, new develop- ment could be attained. While the early Christian epoch was forced, out of sheer necessity, to make use of the antique art- models, the only fundamental principles which could possibly have served as bases for the new structure were saved for the times of a future revival ; and all that the new ideas could not conform themselves to was stripped from the ancient treasure of art, leaving just that part, by way of sound kernel, out of which the tree of a Christian art was destined greatly and gloriously to unfold itself.

And here appear the historical position and significance of early Christian art-work. It stands as mediator between the ancient Pagan life and the epoch of true mediaeval art. Its beginning loses itself somewhere in the first century of Chris- tianity ; and its end is reached towards the close of the tenth century, with the independent rise of German efforts at culture. In the first periods we see the activity of the new art-expres- sions under the influence of ancient Roman civilization : later, the Northern nations enter the arena, not without introducing a good many important changes into the traditional world of ancient models, — heralds, as it were, of that thoroughly new and independent tendency which was destined to set a limit to early Christian art, already growing cold and formal, and to open a new path for the development of the race.

Early CJiristicni Ai'cJdtecturc. — The Catacombs. 339


Nothing gives us so striking an idea of the condition of the early Christians as the plan of the catacombs.^ The word, of uncertain derivation, describes those extensive under-ground burial-places of the most ancient Christian congregations which are found especially at Rome and Naples. The use of subter- ranean tombs had been common from the earliest times throu<rh- out the ancient world. In Egypt as in Asia Minor, in Greece as in ancient Etruria, it was the custom to make a resting-place for the dead in rocks and caves ; and, in all the seats of primi- tive civilization, spacious under-ground cemeteries are met with. We find evidence of a similar usage among the Romans ; and, even now, nearly every new excavation outside of the gates of Rome brings to light some one of those ancient columbaria, which still, after thousands of years, keep uninjured the ashes interred within them, in urns ranged side by side, or on shelves, one above another. These ordinary burial-places belonged, for the most part, only to slaves and freedmen ; but even they ex- hibit in their design and furnishing all the care and elegance which seemed to be cherished by Roman art, even in its decay.

What a contrast to these is offered by the catacombs of the

1 Consult the splendidly-illustrated folio of Perret, — Les Catacombes de Rome. Also the solid work of Cavalier de Rossi, — Roma Sotterranea. Folio. Under the same title, Prof. Krauss has published a collective account of the latest researches on this subject, — Die romis- chen Katakomben. Freiburg im Breigau. 1873. With illustrations. See also Count Des- bassayes de Richemont, — Les Recherche les plus recentes sur les Catacombes de Rome. Paris. [The student will find a condensed but full account of the Roman catacombs, especially of the cemetery of Calixtus, with illustrations, in Gsell-Fels Guide to Rome (Meyer's Reisebiicher, Rom und Mittel-Italien), vol. ii. pp. 827-884. English readers may get a general notion of the subject from Monuments of Early Christian .A.rt, — Sculptures and Catacomb Paintings. J. W. Appall. London, 1872. This little book contains information on the Christian sculptures on sarcophagi, and sculptures of Christian subjects in general, statues and reliefs, and also on the paintings in the catacombs of Rome and Naples. Beside the illustrations, which are clear and good, the student will find useful references to the literature of the subject. See also The Archaeology of Rome, and The Catacombs, by I. H. Parker. London, 1877.]

340 History of Art.

first Christians ! As in the narrow, stifling shafts and passages of a mine, one gropes his way alternately downward and upward for hours through the windings of labyrinthine corridors, broken in the blackish, porous tufa. They are, for the most part, only broad and high enough to allow one person to pass, and often so fearfully narrow that it is hardly possible to conceive how the dead could have been deposited in them ; and yet this was undoubtedly their purpose. Their walls to right and left are honeycombed with long, low, narrow openings, scarcely large enough to receive a human .body. In these holes the corpses of the dead were laid : the opening was closed with a flat stone, inscribed with the name, or with some other designation, to mark the grave : a little flask of consecrated oil, and another of eucharistic wine, were placed within the cavity, and a small lamp added. When persons of especial distinction, like bishops, or perhaps martyrs, were to be buried, a longer and wider sepulchre was excavated, and a few modest decorative paintings added to the walls. In this way the first timid symbols of Christian faith were ventured upon, in the effort to give the place a worthier character. Besides these, there are occasionally found loftier and more roomy chambers, vaulted, and furnished with niches {arcosolia), the walls and roofs decorated with similar paintings : these were evidently designed for chapels, and set apart for the celebration of divine service.

But even this simple attempt at ornamentation avails but little to modify the harsh, gloomy, and dreary character of the catacombs. The picture of the first Christian congregations appears the more distinct to us against their sombre background. We can see the persecuted believers, in the dark days of oppres- sion and trouble, bearing in fear and trembling, and in the dead of night, the revered bodies of the fallen martyrs to their rest in those cave-like tombs; we can see them gathered together here to unite beside these martyrs' graves in common prayer, for strength to endure, and wait in patience ; we can watch, as time goes on, the silent congregation of the dead, marshalled in

Ea7dy Christian Architecture. — The Catacombs. 341

deep ranks about the resting-places of martyrs and bishops, new recruits continually added to their multitude, until a vast city of the departed has grown up around.

If we were compelled to designate the chief characteristic of these places, we should say that it lay in the almost utter lack of art and form. The inconceivably labyrinthine intricacies of these corridors, with their irregular plan and their insignificant burial-niches ; the rude black tufa, the gloom of which is hardly perceptibly diminished, even in especially decorated places, by the modest roof-paintings, — how positively and distinctly they contrast with the clearly-marked design, the cheerful decorations in color, the dainty ornaments, and the sculptured details, of the ancient tombs !

The unadorned simplicity of the manners of the early Chris- tians, the spirituality and purity of their conception of the divine, their conviction of the utter worthlessness of all earthly things, could not be more clearly shown than by these burial- places of the first Christian centuries.

Among the catacombs brought to light at Rome, the most remarkable is that of St. Calixtus, rediscovered through the ingenuity of De Rossi. It consists of three interdependent systems, entered by separate stairways, and contains in the first area not only the grave of St. Cecilia, and the five so-called sacramental crypts, remarkable for their symbolical cyclic paintings, but also the sepulchre of the popes, the burial- places of the popes of the third century, with remains of a rich marble casing of later date. The style of decoration of the second area points to the latter part of the third century ; while, in the third, the crypt of Pope Eusebius (buried 311) is espe- cially remarkable. In these catacombs is also the crypt of Lucina, wdth its very ancient paintings, as well as the tomb of St. Cornelius. Of the remaining catacombs, those of St. Nereus and Achilleus (or St. Domitilla), with their beautiful, richly-decorated atrium, are among the oldest. Those of St. Praetextatus, St. Agnes, St. Priscilla, and St. Sebastian, are also

342 History of Art.

noteworthy. As to the inscriptions found everywhere in the catacombs in great numbers (and now placed in the Museo Lapidario of the Lateran), the oldest of them dates back to the end of the first century. Though some of the paintings can be traced back to the second and third centuries, the greater pro- portion must be assigned to the fourth and fifth. Besides the catacombs of Rome, those of Naples deserve notice, particu- larly the ones beneath the churches of San Gennaro de' Poveri, Santa Maria della Sanita, and Santa Maria della Vita.

A higher degree of development was only possible to early Christian art, when, with the recognition of the new doctrine by the state, came the opportunity to erect buildings suitable for general Christian services and the public worship of God. Notwithstanding the fact that the requirements of the case were altogether novel, it was not possible to avoid the employ- ment of the old, established, mechanical methods of the forms of construction and of architecture which had been used by older times.

That even in some cases there was no scruple felt about fitting up Pagan temples for purposes of Christian worship is proved by the Pantheon and the Church of Maria Egiziaca in Rome. These, however, were and remained exceptional cases ; for the church of the Christians was too widely distinct from the ancient temple in its object and exigencies to admit of such changes generally. True, the primary design in both cases was, to serve as a house of God ; but, in the Christian church, the whole congregation desired to gather about the altar in order to unite in the solemn celebration of the cucharistic feast. A spacious enclosure was thus necessary, of the whole of which an uninterrupted view could be had, and of which the plan should be such as to best correspond to the require- ments of the service. The early Christian basilica completely fulfils these needs.

There has been a good deal of contention as to whether, or to what extent, these buildings had their origin in imitations

Early Christian Architecture. — The Basilicas. 343

of the old Pagan basilicas for the purposes of trade and justice.^ Some attempt is making at this moment to deny the connection, in order to be able to attribute, if possible, an independent merit to early Christian architecture. To take a different view of it, however, it would be doing an injustice to the acuteness of the earliest Christian architects to suppose that they could have overlooked the peculiar features of the antique basilicas which they had daily before their eyes. For this reason, it will always seem most probable that these proto- types gave the first impulse to the grand configuration of the Christian basilica. The very first suggestion may indeed have come from those basilica-like halls in ancient dwellings, in which it is probable that the earliest Christian congregations secretly met, in the beginning, to solemnize their worship. Even the atrium connected with the Christian basilica seems to indi- cate the kindred apartments in the Roman private houses. Enough, that, in the variety of ancient architectural design, there lay more than one pattern for the assembling-places of the Christian congregations.

But it was precisely in the free transformation and the appro- priate remodelling of the old styles to a new purpose that the true merit of the Christian architect consisted. The elevated tribunal with its mighty apse was retained ; and to it were joined the spaces of the longitudinal nave, exception only being taken to the columnar arrangement, which formerly divided the tribunal from the main building. Insignificant as these alterations appear, they still sufficed to create a structure with an effect essentially new, and with a distinct stamp of originality. A short consideration of the basilica will prove this.

1 Cf. F. V. Ouast : Die Basilika der Alten. Berlin, 1845. ^- Zestermann : Die antiken iind die christlichen Basiliken. Leipsic, 1S47. J. A. Messmer .- Ueber den Ursprung, die Entwicklung und Bedeutimg der Basilika in der christlichen Baukunst. Leipsic, 1854. W. Weingartner : Ursprung und Entwicklung des christlichen Kirchengebaudes. Leipsic, 1858. O. Mothes : Die Basilikenform bei den Christen der ersten Jahrhundcrte. Leipsic, 1865. F. Reber: Die Urform der roni. Basilika, in der Mitt, der Centr. Comm. zu Wien, 1869.

344 History of Art.

As, in the ancient basilica, the space dedicated to the dispens- ing of justice was set apart from those portions appropriated to the bustle of trade, so, in the Christian basilica, the apse was assigned to the bishop and his presbyters, in contradistinction to the main longitudinal portion, where the congregation assem-

■ bled. The stalls for the priests were arranged semicircularly along the wall ; while in the midst, at the back of the recess, the bishop was seated upon an elevated throne. The walls and vaulting of the apse were covered with solemn representations of the figures of Christ, his apostles and saints. On the boun- dary between apse and nave was raised by several steps, usually over the grave of a martyr, the so-called confessio, with its canopy, or baldacchino, supported by pillars, — the altar upon which the most holy sacrifice was laid, open to all eyes, the solemn central point of the whole. Above the canopy soared the triumphal arch,^ often resting upon two unusually massive columns, opening its wide span hospitably toward the main building ; its inner surface (intrados) likewise glowing with

. representations of sacred figures. The auditorium itself, the end of which forms the apse, consists of a broad and lofty cen- tral nave, with one or two low, narrow corridors, by way of aisles, which are divided from each other and from the centre nave by rows of columns, supporting the high clere-story of the nave either upon a common architrave or upon strong Roman- esque arches. This clere-story is pierced at regular intervals by wide, high windows, enclosed by the arches, and affording a strong side-light from above to the whole space. Windows are also occasionally introduced in the lower walls of the aisles; but the apse, on the contrary, in ancient times, was windowless, and lay in a mysterious half-light, in which the gold mosaics shone fitfully in solemn splendor. Main and lateral naves were roofed in with rafters, which originally took the place of a panelled ceiling adorned with paintings. The entrances to the naves are placed in the end-wall, opposite the altar space ; at

[1 A name even now given to the chancel-arch in English chinches.]

Early Christian Architechire. — The Basilicas. 345

least one special entrance for each nave, and, in large churches, three for the central one. A vestibule is invariably connected with these entrances, usually forming a stately atrium, with an unobstructed quadrangular court and encircling arcades : the court contains a fountain in the centre ; the whole offering opportunity for the free employment of fine architectural effects.

An edifice was thus constructed, which, in connection with the utmost simplicity of ground-plan, was able to fulfil all ritual requirements, and, in a most impressive fashion, clearly and significantly to embody its ideal aim in proportions of monu- mental grandeur. The worshipper, on entering, is irresistibly drawn by the parallel lines of far-reaching columns to the one goal and central point of the whole structure, where the stewards of the divine mysteries serve about the elevated altar ; while from the high arch, as well as from the walls of the apse, the revered forms of Christ and his chosen ones shine down upon him with solemn grandeur. Should it seem desirable to enrich and extend this ground-plan subsequently, — to intro- duce, for instance, a building at right angles to the main, be- tween apse and auditorium, by way of transept ; or, further, to add smaller side-apses to this ; or build a story or gallery above the side-aisles, carrying this two-storied arrangement also above the entrance-halls, — the ground idea of the basilica, un- disturbed by any of these alterations, only proves itself capable of an infinite elasticity of extension, and variety of develop- ment.

To the inquiry as to what art-types were employed in these new architectural creations, the answer cannot be doubtful. The antique, decrepit as it was, and even technically degener- ate and worthless, could still offer an indestructible treasure in the details with which to clothe the new architectural frame- work. Ancient pillar-bases, shafts, and capitals, ancient entab- latures with their rich and abundant ornamentation, were the elements from which the early Christian basilicas gathered

346 History of Art.

their structure and their adornment. The greater the number of ancient temples and magnificent buildings that fell into decay and oblivion,, the greater the quantity of precious spoils ob- tained for the beautifying of the basilicas ; and whatever could be rescued from the immeasurable glories of the ancient world of the heathen gods, now fallen into ruin, was used, as far as it was applicable : hence the oldest basilicas are the richest and most beautiful in their architectural details. The later the date, the poorer, ruder, and more heterogeneous they become ; since, even in the earliest times, the builders did not hesitate to make use of columnar remains of the most varied size, material, beauty, and workmanship, from old temples and halls, crowding them side by side into the same arcade in their new Christian churches. Shafts too long for the purpose were cut off ; those that were too short were lengthened by means of higher bases or capitals ; while, among the capitals themselves, all con- ceivable variations of the Corinthian, Ionian, and Composite styles, were mingled in the same colonnade ; so that ancient architecture appeared as though it had been resolved into its chaotic first principles.

That, with such a mode of treatment, every trace of ancient laws and proportions, of intercolumniation, pediment, structure, &c., should have disappeared, follows as a matter of course. As far as that goes, the barbarians themselves could not have made away more recklessly with the remains of ancient art ; and indeed, seen from the point of view of that primitive art, this procedure zvas barbarous. It was only by following this road, however, that it was possible for the new-born spirit, keep- ing its eyes fixed steadily upon the main point, and unconcerned about what must remain as yet of mere secondary importance, to pursue its purpose, and finally to reach its goal. For all it cared, the precious remains of ancient architecture might be shattered to atoms, and then forced into new anomalous com- binations. There was nothing either to retain or to change in what was already past and gone ; and only while assimilating

Early Christian Architecture. — The Basilicas. 347

itself with a new organism was it yet possible to evolve from its ruins the germ of a new development. Does not the spirit of primitive Christianity, after all, find powerful expression in that very recklessness, striving only for the realization of the new truth, even over the ruins of beauty and harmony ?

Nevertheless, there were decided attempts made to arrive at a more artistic expression of the Christian idea, even in the form of the oldest basilica. Although its architecture, in its own poverty, fed upon the crumbs which had fallen from the somewhat voluptuous board of ancient art, the paintings, on the contrary, which were liberally bestowed upon the interior of the basilica, and with which the builders delighted to cover the vaulting of the apse and the walls of the triumphal arch, soon became the means of giving expression, on a great scale, to Christian beliefs and conceptions ; and by this means, though ancient art still furnished their prototypes and stand- ards, the spirit and significance of the new productions very soon took on an original and definite coloring.

In the construction of the outside of the basilicas, the archi- tect rested content with forcibly bringing out the fundamental design, without regarding ornate exterior as at all essential. Only the side on which the entrance lay was perhaps covered, like a facade, with picturesque ornamentation, altogether inde- pendent, of course, of architectural proportion.

Among the basilicas ^ preserved to us, the most prominent in ao-e, grandeur of plan, and magnificence of adornment, was the Church of San Paolo, without the walls {extra inuros) at Rome, destroyed by fire in the year 1828, and lately restored, though,

1 Denkmaler d. Kunst, plate 34. Guttensohn and Knapp : Denkmaler der christlichen Religion. Folio. Rome, 1822. C. Bun-en : Die Basiliken des christlichen Roms. Canina : Ricerche sull' Architettura piii propria dei Tempj Cristiani. Folio. Roma, 1846. Also Hiibsch's important work : Die altchristlichen Kirchen nach den Baudenkmalen und iilteren Beschreibungen, &c. Folio. Carlsruhe, 1858. [In the before-mentioned Guide to Italy by Gsell-Fels there will be found an abundance of woodcuts illustrating; the architecture of Italy, giving ground-plans as well as perspective views, interiors, and sections, and covering the ancient, medixval, and renaissance periods with well-written text, containing the results of the latest researches and discoveries. Here is truly much in little space, accessible and cheap.]


History of Art.

unfortunately, in a too modern style (Fig. i8o). Built about 386 under Theodosius and Honorius, it outranks all the basili- cas in the world in vastness of extent. The mighty apse, nearly eighty feet wide, has its effect increased by a lofty transept of the full width of the nave. The latter is built in five divisions formed by the immense central nave, accompanied by two lower

Fig. 180. Interior of the Basilica of St. Paul, outside the Walls at Rome.

side naves or aisles, parallel with it on either side. Eighty col- umns of granite rise in four lines, spanned by circular arches, dividing the naves, and supporting the lofty clere-story of the centre together with the rafters. Towards the transverse nave the central nave opens up in an expansive and lofty triumphal arch, resting upon two colossal columns. Apse, transept, and the inner surface (intrados) of the triumphal arch, are rich with the splendor of extensive works in mosaic ; and the remaining

Early Christian Architecture. — The Basilicas. 349

• IKfl ■

wall-spaces of the interior are also covered with pictures. An extensive atrium, surrounded by colonnades in front of the structure, completes the perfect plan of a basilica of the first rank.

' The old Church of St. Peter (Fig. i8r), destroyed in the fif- teenth century by the erection of the new St. Peter's, dated back to Constantine's time, and was likewise a five-naved parallelogram, with an extensive transept and vesti- bule, and must have resembled San Paolo in its sublime simplicity, its power and dignity of construction.

Of the remaining Roman basilicas, Santa Maria Maggiore, modernized in later times, but still very beautiful, dates its original foundation back to the first half of the fifth century. Though only containing three naves, it is very stately ; and its rows of columns are still connected by a con- tinuous architrave, instead of by arch- es, as was the case also with the old

Basilica of St. Peter. Of the same period is Santa Sabina, on the Aventine, with twenty-four fine columns, which all originally belonged to the same ancient building ; and San Pietro in Vincoli, an imposing edifice in spite of its modernization, with a central nave fifty feet wide. The two basilicas near the gates of Rome, San Lorenzo and Santa Agnese, are smaller, of ele- gant construction and graceful proportions, and date from the end of the fifth to the beginning of the sixth century. Both buildings are diversified, and made particularly attractive by the addition of a gallery-story, with an upper row of columns.

Finally, we have San Prassede and San Clemente, belonging to the close of the ninth century. The rows of columns form- ing the arcade of these two churches alternate in rhythmic


I- T<

•r 4

Fig. 181. Plan of the Old Basilica of St. Peter at Rome.


History of Art.

regularity with single isolated pillars ; and in the former even a greater freedom of construction is employed, crossed arches with walls of masonry rising from these pillars, and serving to support the rafters. Thus new elements of architectural devel- opment arise, even here, out of the old fundamental plan, and we may trace in them a hint of later transformations. Then a new link begins to be supplied in these later basilicas in order to counterbalance the antagonism between arched and columnar construction ; that is to say, a broad projecting ornament, like an impost, is arranged above the Corinthian capital, serving as

a fitting point of support to the observably wider span of the arch. This is the ar- rangement in Santa Agnese

and San Lorenzo,

Beside the basilicas, other architectural types made their appearance at an early day, which, in Rome as elsewhere, were generally used for some special religious purpose. Prominent among these are round or polygonal designs of a more or less complicated kind, intended particularly for baptismal or mortuary chapels. One of the earliest and most important of these buildings is the mausoleum of the daughter of Constan- tine, mentioned above (on page 299), still in existence as the Church of Santa Cos- tanza, — a circular building, with its central space crowned by a lofty dome, resting upon a circle of coupled columns rising

Fig. 1 82. Baptistery of St. John Lateran.

Early Christian Architecture. — Ravenna. 351

above a low gallery, also arched. The important Church of San Stefano Rotondo is of much more noticeable dimen- sions, and of similar plan, but without arching. It was originally encircled by two low galleries, running between double rows of columns ; so that, to a certain extent, the prin- ciple of the five-naved basilicas seems to have been employed here upon a circular structure of great size. The details, belonging to the end of the fifth century, are throughout antique ; though the high ornamental impost over the capital should be mentioned as a new element. The remarkable bap- tistery of the Lateran belongs to the number of baptismal chap- els, and also dates from the fifth century (Fig. 182). It is an octagonal structure, with eight antique columns connected by elegant architraves ; above them a second columnar arrange- ment, whereby the high galleries and the still more slender central structure acquire a particularly light and airy appear- ance.


The most important Italian city after Rome was, at this period, the ancient Ravenna. Promoted by Honorius in 404 A.D. to be the capital of the Western Empire, it was afterwards adorned with superb monuments by Galla Placidia, the sister of that emperor. When, at a later day, Theodoric conquered the king- dom for the Ostrogoths, he zealously carried on the architectu- ral works which had been already set on foot ; and, after his death, his daughter Amalasuntha encouraged other similar undertakings. The artistic productions of this period are char- acterized by modifications which are perhaps outgrowths of the Northern mind, though in their essentials they still remain

1 Denkmaler der Kunst, plate 34. See also plate 17. F. von Quast: Der altchristlichen Bauwerke zu Ravenna. Berlin, 1842. Also Hiibsch : Die altchristlichen Kirchen, &c. Dr. Rudolf Rahn : Ein Besuch in Ravenna, v. Zahn's Jahrbiicher fiir Kimstwissenschaft, 1868. [The English reader will find a great deal of information conveyed with spirit and conviction in Mr. Edward A. Freeman's little book, — Historical and Architectural Sketches, chiefly Italian. London ; Macmillan & Co., 1S76.]

352 History of Art.

faithful to the ancient models. A decided turn in the fortunes of the town occurred after the victory over the Ostrogoths by the Eastern warrior Narses, when Ravenna became the resi- dence of the Byzantine exarchs. From this time artistic pro- ductions began to show the influence of Byzantine art, which had already made considerable progress.

The basilicas of Ravenna, though inferior to the Roman in extent and grandeur, and rejecting the transept in their plan, embodied a more vital development of the main architectural idea, and, at an early period, added an independent bell-tower to the church-building, which rose in a simple, cylindrical form, without any tapering or delicate construction of parts, termi- nating in a somewhat flat roof. On the other hand, the de- velopment of the heavy, monotonous clere-story of the middle nave shows a decided progress toward free and natural forms.

Stronger piers of masonry, spanned by circular arches, enframe the win- dows, and give an appropriate, intel- ligible effect to the lines of the nave- arcades. Here, too, a new idea in the treatment of detail springs out of the old tradition, finding expression es- pecially in the independent and ele- T ^ gant, even if somewhat uninteresting.

Fig. .83. Capital from Ravenna. Conventional development of the capi- tals (Fig. 183), as well as in the im- post ornaments above the latter, which are now fully perfected. Among those edifices which have been preserved to us, the most important, since the five-naved cathedral had to make way for a new structure in the last century, is the Church of S. Apol- linare in Classe (situated in the ancient port of Ravenna). Built between 534 and 549, it gives, with its twenty-four Greek marble columns and its rich mosaic decorations, as well as the ancient rafters of its nave, the impression, undisturbed by any incongruity in its construction, of a venerable early Christian


Early Christian. Architecture. — Mausoleums. 353

monument. Its pillars are placed on postaments, the capitals bearing the perfected impost ornament ; and above the richly- adorned archivolts extends a mosaic frieze of medallions contain- ing portraits. The triumphal arch and apse are likewise covered with representations in mosaic.

Among buildings intended for other uses, the Mausoleum of Theodoric, the modern Church of Santa Maria della Rotonda, is one of the most original architectural works of its class. Suggested, without doubt, by the mighty tombs of the emperors still existing in Rome, it exhibits ancient architectural ideas ex- pressed in the forcible, robust fashion of the Germanic race. It is a simple decagon, formerly surrounded by an arcade gallery, and roofed in by a vaulted dome thirty-four feet in diameter, and hewn out of a single mass of stone. In the colossal con- struction and robustness of form of this monument one is re- minded of the Germanic and Celtic nations of the North, where the grave of an illustrious leader is designated by a few gigantic stones heaped one above the other. Less imposing, but of no less interest, is the mortuary Chapel of Galla Placidia, the little modern Church of SS. Nazario e Celso, begun by that empress in 440. It is cross-shaped ; the arms of the cross being roofed in by circular vaulting, covered by a dome at their intersec- tion, the whole richly adorned with mosaics. Probably the in- tention of depositing here not only the sarcophagus of the empress, but those of her brother Honorius and her husband Constans, may have been the reason of the original design.

More important than the other buildings at Ravenna, and, indeed, undoubtedly one of the most remarkable existing monu- ments of Christian architecture, is the Church of San Vitale, built 528-547 (Fig. 184). At the time of its foundation, Byzan- tine influences were already strong in Ravenna ; and, before its completion, the town had become subject to the Greek emper- or. It is no wonder, then, that we here see, for the first time in the West, a specimen of a Byzantine tendency which marks a decisive point in the history of that branch of art. A central


History of Azt.

domed structure is here adopted as the main body of the edifice, its employment only having been hitherto practicable in buildings of inferior dimensions and importance. This form developed, however, such a delicate, rich, and intricate organi- zation, that architecture, as hitherto practised, v^ould hardly have recognized it. The main space forms an octagon forty-

Fig. 184. Interior of San Vitale. Ravenna.

seven feet in diameter, bordered by massive pillars, which sup- port the clere-story with the dome. Between these piers the central space expands into several great niches, with walls broken by two stories of columns, which establish the connec- tion between the arcades below and the galleries above. Only towards the altar the space opens at right angles to the choir.

Early Christian Architecture. — The East. 355

which ends in an apse. Over the great arches spanning the eight pillars rises, at first octagonally, the lofty clere-story of the central nave, broken by windows, which are divided, Byzan- tine fashion, by little columns built into the walls. Over all arches the circular dome, in whose construction the architect has applied a unique mode of treatment, also met with in ancient times, for lessening the weight of the lower portions as far as possible ; that is, the vaulting is composed altogether of spiral-shaped, amphora-like clay vessels, fitting one into another, the pointed end of one inserted in the mouth of the other.' When we add that the altar opposite one entrance-hall is furnished with two little round towers with stairs, we have an essentially complete plan of this remarkable building. A su- perbly rich finish, impressive mosaic pictures in the domes, and casings of colored marble in the lower portions, increase the striking impression created by the whole. At the first glance, one remarks instinctively the contrast offered by the almost perplexing richness and refined development of the fundamen- tal plan to the stern simplicity and the intelligible character of the basilica. We shall now inquire into the cause of this effeminate architectural tendency.


Even before Christianity solemnized its victory in Rome by the erection of the impressive monuments we have described, great numbers of structures dedicated to the worship of God had sprung up, like peaceful oases of the new civilization, in the far-off regions of the East, upon the borders of the Lybian and Syrian deserts. They are nearly all of the type of simple basilicas, with the later Roman stamp in matters of detail, and marked by various peculiar modifications. The African churches, still numerous in Egypt and Nubia, as well as in

[1 In that very useful but ill-arranged work, Encyciopedie des Beaux-Arts Plastiques, by Augusta Demmin, Paris, there will be found, p. 744 of the Second Part, a good cut of this roof, showing the construction.]

356 History of Art.

the oases of the Lybian desert and the coast-lands of Algeria and Cyrenaica, are usually of small dimensions, but are not infrequently planned with five naves. The naves are separated by rows of columns or pillars. Above the side-naves traces of galleries are occasionally found. The apse, which is sometimes repeated on the west side, does not generally project outward, but is simply enclosed within by walls placed at right angles to the end-wall. The St. Reparatus Basilica, built 325, at Orleans- ville, is one of the earliest buildings of the kind : it has five naves with pillars, and the apse is raised above a crypt. A second apse was afterward aded to serve as the tomb of Bishop Reparatus. Ruins of a five-naved basilica, with two rows of columns and two of pillars, may still be seen in the modern Tefaced. A basilica with columns and three naves may be found at Deir-Abn-Faneh in Upper Egypt.

The Christian monuments of Central Syria, embracing the period from the second into the sixth century,' are still more extensive, and have been recently opened to the world by care- ful explorations. There are two groups of them : the southern belonging to the modern Hauran ; while the northern extends over the country between Antioch, Aleppo, and Apamea. There are the remains of more than a hundred towns with entire streets and rows of houses, with churches, cloisters, cemeteries, villas, and baths, still much in the same condition as when deserted by their inhabitants at the time of the inva- sion of the Mohammedans in the seventh century. The most peculiar buildings are those in the Hauran, where the utter lack of timber compelled a construction in stone throughout. The early basilicas of this region, especially one at Tafkha (Fig. 185), have their three naves formed by piers, which are spanned by transverse arches for the reception of the massive granite plinths. Above the side-naves, galleries are added ; and,

1 See the important work of Count Melchior de Vogii^, — Syrie Centrale: Architecture, civile et religieuse, du I. au VI I. Sifecle. Paris, 1865-77. Also my own full account in the Christlicher Kunstblatt, 1867, May, June, and July.

Eajdy Christian ArcJiitedure. — The East. 357

by their means, all three naves are carried up to an equal height. The horizontal stone ceiling forms the roof of this primitive structure, which is built of granite in every part. The same style of building prevails in other edifices, especially at Chagga, where a basilica, apparently of the ancient type, and a large palace-like building, have been preserved. Later, Byzantine influences begin to be felt, as is proved by the oc- tagonal, domed structure of the Church of St. George at Esra, dating from the year 510.



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Fig. 185. Basilica at Tafkha (section).

In the Antiochian group, the columned basilica with wooden rafters occurs most frequently. It is almost invariably three- naved, and without a transept : its apse is generally rectangular, and within the walls ; and there are low side-naves without gal- leries. As a rule, there is a vestibule, with an open portico, at the entrance-side : occasionally, a second arcade arrangement is added above it ; and sometimes even the tower is connected with the fagade. The proportions of these buildings are dis-


58 " Histojy of Art.

posed according to the classical laws of form, although these are obviously in a transition state, tending too strongly in the matter of ornament toward mere lifeless designs, and gradu- ally degenerating into an unrestrained, barbaric style of treat- ment. Basilicas of this class may be found at Kherbet-Hass and Elbarah, connected at both places with extensive cloisters, at Kalat-Sema'n, and at Deir Seta. Others at Hass and Behioh have perfectly rectangular choirs ; and still others, at Baguza and Surmanin, have round or polygonal projecting apses, in which the recesses have a columnar arrangement that recalls the later Roman structures. Isolated instances of the basilica with piers are found at Rueiha and Oualb-Luze. The grandest edifice of all is, however, the cloister-church of St. Simon Stylites, at Kalat-Sema'n, — a columned building with three naves, in the form of a Greek cross, with arms of equal length, except the eastern one, which is slightly prolonged. The cen- tral point of the cross forms an octagon about ninety feet wide, with low arcaded galleries and apses in the diagonal angles, the whole forming one of the grandest of early Chris- tian nnjnuments.

Besides these churches there are numerous well-preserved dwelling-houses, built of great square stones, and containing but few rooms, which open, through a long colonnade of two stories in height, upon a court that separates the house from the street. Fig. 186 gives such a group of buildings in Djebel- Riha. Whole cemeteries of splendid burial-places are con- nected with these towns, consisting partly of rocky tombs with porticos in the ancient style, and with vestibules or closed facades, and partly of tombs standing in the open ; often unit- ing the Oriental pyramid with the elements of the classical columnar structure, occasionally resembling an imitation of the antique peripteros, and, in a few later specimens, carrying up the Roman dome-structure over a central ground-plan gen- erally square. In spite of the conspicuous barbarism of their details, these structures still preserve a very successful imita- tion of the simple, noble, antique element in art.

Early Christimi ArcJdtectui'e. — Byzantiufu. 359

When Constantine^ transferred the central point of his empire to the East, numerous and magnificent churches and palaces soon arose, under his fostering care, in the new capital founded by him on the Bosphorus. Here, too, it was the forms of ancient art which were to fix their stamp upon the new imperial city ;

EJU)E-.M^-^ly'l.".i L/

Fig. 186. Group of Buildings in Djebel-Riha.

and, while old Rome gradually faded away, new Rome, by virtue of the art borrowed from the mother-land, rose to fresh splendor. So far as we have any knowledge of the ecclesiastical edifices of the East, they seem, in general, to have resembled the Western basilicas of that day. The church which Constan- tine caused to be erected over the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem

1 A very full and conii)lete survey of the history of Byzantine art is given by W. Unger in Ersch and Griiber's Encyclopaedia of Art and Science.

360 History of Art.

was a five-naved basilica, with galleries above the lateral naves. The Church of St. Mary at Bethlehem, erected by St. Helena, mother of, the emperor, and still standing, is likewise a con- siderable edifice with five naves, and a stately transept with semicircular ends, but without galleries over the lateral naves. In Byzantium, galleries were, as a rule, retained, in order that, according to the Eastern custom, women might have a place apart in the upper story. The numerous churches of Con- stantinople in its earliest epoch were doubtless of this descrip- tion. The love of pomp peculiar to the Kast, and the luxurious and degenerate monuments of Asia Minor, must necessarily have had a marked influence in bringing about a richer development of ornamental details. Byzantine art only began its higher flight and independent development with the first years of the sixth century. The splendid reign of Justinian (527-565) limits and defines this turning-point. The Byzantine state had, especially since the downfall of the Western ICmpire, defended itself vigor- ously against the inroad of the barbarians ; and the old glory of Rome seemed to live again on the shores of the Bosphorus, in the last asylum found for the civili/.alion of the ancient world. But it was only the mere dry skeleton cf Roman bureaucracy, which, united to the pomposity of Oriental ceremonial, must soon, of necessity, degenerate into a wretched mockery. Chris- tianity itself assumed, since it lacked the elements of a fresh national genius, the same outward dogmatism that marked the ossifying civil power : and so, in the midst of all its splendor, Byzantine life was dry and insijMd ; and, with all its appearance of power, a gradual torpor was creeping over it. Those who, in modern times, combat these facts, forget that the isolated points of light in the civilization of the later Byzantine period were too transitory to modify essentially the collective characteristics of that epoch. It is certain that the summit of Byzantine de- velopment was reached in the sixth century ; and that, after that time, not a single new thought or radical movement ever dis- turbed the stagnation of the Eastern Empire.

Early ChHstian Art. — Byzantine Architecture. 361

Among all the phenomena of this remarkable condition of affairs, artistic and especially the architectural productions rank first in real significance.^ It is true that they bear the unmistakable stamp of the conventional dryness and torpor characteristic of Byzantine life ; true that the early departure from the simple form of the basilica, and the transition to more various, richer, and more complicated designs, indicate a lack of clear and purely artistic motives : but, even amid all this peculiar tendency, combinations of bold originality, powerful effect, and impressive grandeur, were produced, bearing splendid witness to the technical knowledge, the energy and the skill, of their authors. The essential characteristic of the Byzantine style proper is the adoption of the dome-structure with all its ad- juncts. Though the dome-design had before been employed for baptisteries, chapels-mortuary, and similar small edifices, it was not until now adopted as the dominating style in the building of the principal churches. Since divine worship had developed a particularly splendid ritual with the Byzantines, rendering a building of varied construction necessary, and since the dome did not assimilate well with the parallelogram, the plan of the church now became decidedly complicated. Thus a system of domes and half-domes, with every conceivable variety of wall-niche pertaining to them, was connected with the most varied designs. A structure with piers, broad flat surfaces, and mighty archings, took the place of the columnar building of the basilica ; and the rows of columns assumed a merely subordinate position to the great leading characteristics, being used as supports to the galleries, and to define the side- spaces. But, whilst all parts of the building were planned with strict reference to the crowning central point, the great prin- cipal dome, there a decentralizing element, appeared in the ad- dition of the choir, which had become necessary in connection with the service at the altar, — an incontrovertible witness to the

1 Denkmaler der Kunst, plate 35 and 35 A. See also plate 18 : Salzenberg Die altchrist- lichen Baudenkmale von Constantinopel. Berlin, 1S54.


History of Art.

inevitable discord between the purposes of the ritual and the design of the architect.

In the ornate finish of the buildings, casings of colored mar- ble were lavishly employed upon the walls and piers ; and glow- ing mosaic pictures beautified the vaulted hollows of domes, half-domes, and niches. Byzantine art in the true Oriental spirit has a special predilection for the utmost wealth of orna- ment, and keeps this end steadily in view in the adjustment of all the different parts of the architectural design. The columns with their bases and capitals, the pediments, friezes, door and window frames, as well as the gallery-railings, were all of mar- ble, covered with ornamentation. These decorations, although founded upon ancient tradition, too often bear witness to the torpidity of art. Instead of following its free, plastic undula- tions, they only imitate the elegant correctness of the Greek type, and finally die out in weak, ill-defined surface-ornaments. The form of the capitals is the most striking exemplification of this point. They start from the chalice shape of the antique

Corinthian ; but in consequence of their clumsy convexity, the flat- tening of the projecting leaf-carv- ing and its degradation to a fan- tastic arabesque, from which only I lie upper volutes awkwardly pro- ject, they acquire an entirely novel form, scarcely leaving the faintest suggestion of the beautiful antique (Fig. 187). Above these capitals appears that impost which we have already described as an element of Byzantine art.

Byzantine art of this epoch pays but little attention to the exteriors of its buildings ; but, even here, its huge and heavy masses, with the round and roofless dome projecting in the centre, have a characteristic look.

We have already made acquaintance with an important monu-

Fig. 1S7. Capital from Santa Sophia.

Early Christian Art. — Santa Sophia. 363

ment of positive Byzantine architecture in San Vitale at Ra- venna. Another noteworthy structure, dating back to about the same period, in the reign of Justinian, further illustrates the history of the development of the Byzantine centralized form of building?. This is the former Church of SS. Sergius and Bacchus at Constantinople. As in San Vitale, the central octagonal space is enclosed by a dome, and encircled by corri- dors two stories high. But the main space is only extended on four sides by niches with recessed columns ; and the outer walls form almost a square, the choir with its apse standing out from the main mass.

Though many fluctuations were noticeable in the treatment of outline at this stage, although the square and the polygonal ground-plan strove for the mastery, the system, nevertheless, produced its greatest and highest result during the golden age of Justinian's reign, in a structure destined long to remain the highest type of Oriental architecture. This was the Church of St. Sophia at Constantinople. Constantine had already raised a church in his capital in honor of the Divine Wisdom, which, being destroyed by fire, was restored by Justinian with all imagi- nable splendor. Anthemius of Tralles, and Isidorus of Miletus, were summoned to serve as its architects. The most precious columns and other remains from the temples of Asia Minor were collected ; and no pains were spared in the preparation for this great enterprise, or the carrying-out of the design. Owing to the tireless and stimulating zeal of the emperor, the whole building was completed in the almost inconceivably short space of five years (532-537). Twenty years later, in 558, after the occurrence of an earthquake, the dome, which had been very much injured, was pulled down, and carried up again to a some- what greater height on strengthened supports. The structure remained in this form until the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks, when it was turned into a mosque, and slender mina- rets added to the four corners. In the interior the Turks were satisfied with merely covering up the mosaic pictures ; so that, in essentials, the building still retains its original character.


History of Art.

Its ground-plan (Fig 188) is founded upon the attempt to harmonize the rectangular design of the basilica with the devel- opment of dome-architecture. The central point of the main space is the mighty dome, a hundred and six feet in diameter, and rising on four piers, placed at the corners of a square, to a height of a hundred and seventy-seven feet. The dome, in spite of its height, is not tapering, but very flat, being con- structed only in the segment of a circle. It rises from a drum, which rests upon the top of the four great arches spanning the

Fig. 188. Ground-Plan of llie Chuicli of Santa Sophia.

principal piers. Triangular pendentives fill up the spaces be- tween the apexes of the arches and this drum. In this way, only a quadrangular space was obtained, after all ; and, in order to elongate it, a mighty semicircular recess was added both in front and behind, with walls resting upon the piers at the angles of the dome, and upon two intermediate piers. At the sides, however, a partition-wall, supported by rows of columns, en- closed the nave ; and, by means of these arch-openings, com- munication between the nave and the side-aisles was easy.

Those two apses whose half-domed vaults rest directly upon the great central dome, and continue its line, enlarge the space

Eaidy Christian Art. — Santa Sophia. 365

of the main nave to an elongated oval, corresponding in its artistic design to the middle nave of the basilica. At the entrance-end of the building this nave is connected with the great vestibule, equal to the width of the whole structure ; and at the opposite end it terminates in a great altar-apse and two side-apses, necessary for ritual purposes : so that, in this direc- tion also, there occurs a further departure from the semicircular ground-plan. The two long sides, on the other hand, have low side-naves attached, which, however, owing to the varied strength of the projecting supports and the variety of their vaulting, have not the character of side-naves throughout, but seem like an aggregation of smaller spaces. Instead of the tranquil stability of the basilica-naves, they present to the eye an attractive series of picturesque vistas. Galleries are carried over all the side-spaces, opening towards the middle nave between rows of columns, and containing the tribunes for women. The light is admitted through a circle of windows at the base of the principal dome, and through others in the half- domes and the great transverse walls, amply illuminating the interior. An almost quadrangular exterior, two hundred and fifty-two feet long by two hundred and twenty-eight feet wide, encloses these variously-grouped interior spaces. Before the entrance-hall, with its nine great doorways, is built an atrium surrounded by colonnades, after the manner of the great basilicas.

The interior decoration of this imposing structure corre- sponds with its importance. All the wall-surfaces and the great piers, up to the pendentives, are incased with precious and many-hued marble tiles. The rarest and most gorgeous specimens from the temples of Asia Minor were selected for columns ; and all the vaulted spaces — dome, half-domes, and apses — glowed with a magnificent background of gold mosaic, enframed with bright-colored ornamental bands, and interwoven, like tapestry, with pictorial representations, strikingly set off by the gold background. This splendor shone with wonderful

366 History of Art.

brilliancy in the intensity of the illumination from above, filled all the building with an overwhelming radiance, and, added to the manifold variety in the ascending lines of the arches and vaultings, produced a most fantastic impression. The inventive spirit which designed all this ventured upon a bold system of construction ; and the effect of a dome whose broad span rises unfettered with so few supports is thoroughly imposing. But, nevertheless, the result of all this effort is and remains forced and constrained. Although the Church of St. Sophia, in con- trast with the early Christian basilica, may be admired as a marvel of constructive science and inventive combination, who- ever recognizes the beauty of simplicity, comprehensive clear- ness, and harmony of ensemble, will award the palm to the basilica ; though it must be admitted that its upper walls are defective, and the roof is not a necessary consequence of the other arrangements of the structure. In this direction the significance of St. Sophia is not to be undervalued, offering as it does a fully-developed system of stone roofing ; but when it brings the great structural forms into inartistic association, dealing with them according to mechanical rather than accord- ing to organic laws, its work bears the stamp of narrowness, and its combinations have a transient character.

The form of the architectonic details is but little noticed under such a mass of surface-decoration. Only the heavy Byzantine form of the capital gives us a decided proof of the character of the original architectural conception. The exte- rior has a disagreeable look of inflexibility ; and the flat princi- pal dome, with its adjoining half-domes, rises heavily, like a great natural mound, over the masses of piers and masonry. Only the minarets added by the Turks lend an ornament — though of a foreign, inconsistent look — to the exterior.

With the Church of St. Sophia Byzantine art reached its zenith. Henceforth it remained the highest type of art for the East ; though, in most churches, a simplification of the ground-plan was demanded ; and the builders were content with

Early Christian Ai't. — Byzantine Buildings. 367

repeating the motive of the principal dome in lesser propor- tions, connecting it with an elongated main structure, approach- ing a square in shape, and generally consisting of three naves. As time went on, the interior of the larger buildings often assumed the form of a cross, with arms of equal length, — the Greek cross, as it was called ; while the central portion, both of nave and transept, was elevated above the lower parts of the interior. The great dome invariably rises at the point of intersection, often with the addition of smaller domes at

Fig. 189. Facade of tlit Church of the Mother of God. Constantinople.

the terminations of the four arms of the cross. A more slender tapering of the dome is also noticeable, owing to the fact that a drum is first built on a polygonal, or else round, ground-plan, thus offering a better place for the windows ; and from its cornice rises the vaulting, still moderately flat. The three apses and the vestibule, extending the whole width of the building, its front-wall resting upon columns, are also cus- tomary in Byzantine churches of this epoch. The interior is.


68 Histoiy of Art.

as a rule, ornamented with frescos, in default of richer mate- rial : the exterior, on the contrary, bears an agreeable artistic stamp, in consequence of a more elegant columnar adornment, as well as through the employment of materials of different colors, arranged in stripes, or bands. The Church of the Mother of God {Agia Theotokos), built at Constantinople in 900 A.D., is an attractive specimen of this later Byzantine style of architecture (Fig. 1S9).

To all intents and purposes, however, the Greek Church had nearly exhausted the range of her artistic conceptions. The germ from whence sprung her architectural style was not simple enough to be capable of a richer, more prolonged development : hence it soon became hard and bare, like all the other attributes of Byzantine life.


The buildings of the Ostrogoths in Ravenna have already shown us how the Roman forms were apprehended by the Germanic peoples. In after-times, when the Northern nations came into the foreground of history, and when, after the end of the great migratory period, they began to form new states, the artistic efforts connected with those new relations became necessarily of great significance ; and it was the king- dom of the Franks that especially made itself the standard- bearer of this civilization. Its mightiest ruler, Charlemagne, ever cherished as his loftiest ambition the restoration of the dominion of the Caesars ; and, as the vast extension of his empire made the realization of this ambition a magnificent possibility, it was no wonder, that, in all artistic production, the traditions of the antique world became the standard for this people. At this period, however, the sources of ancient art were more remote, both as to time and place, than hitherto. The elements and implements of all his undertakings must be found among an almost uncivilized people ; and all attempts were made immensely more difficult, even in merely mechanical

Early Ckristiaii Art. — Lombard Architectitre. 369

matters, by the lack of worthy materials, of technical knowl- edge, and of every kind of necessary adjuncts. Besides this, the spirit of this people, with all their freshness and strength, was not yet sufficiently aroused : the new demands of national life were too pressing to permit of that freedom of mind so necessary for artistic creation. All that we meet with in the way of art-works among the Germanic peoples of this period. IS, consequently, but a copy of Roman style, not without traces of barbarous transformation wherever lack of comprehension or of practice appeared to make it unavoidable. In some cases, too, Byzantine influence is conspicuous, — an influence which, even on Italian ground, affected the monuments at Ravenna. Only some isolated examples of this period have come down to our day.

St. Lorenzo, in Milan, may be mentioned as a monument possibly belonging to early Christian times.' Though the remains of some antique thermae were, perhaps, made use of in its construction, the similarity of the ground-plan to that of San Vitale seems to suggest this epoch. It has been rebuilt, to some extent, in later times ; but the grand effect of the interior clearly indicates its original plan. The dome of the quadrangular central space soars, bold and free, above four wide semicircular apses, in which are columns supporting .upper and lower galleries.

The Palazzo delle Torri in Turin, a mighty pile of brick, is a relic of the time of the Lombards, constructed in several stories, with pilasters and niches. Germany possesses, in the oldest portions of the cathedral at Treves, a later, perhaps a restored, specimen of the numerous splendid architectural enterprises of the sixth century ; for this city, as the capital of the Austrasian kings and the seat of an archbishopric, stood in the first rank among the towns north of the Alps.

The numerous architectural structures with which Charle- magne adorned the cities of his broad empire, above all, his

1 Compare Hiibsch, Die altchristlichen Kirchen, plate i6.


History of Art.

capital and favorite town of Aix-la-Chapelle, are of still more importance. Though no traces have come dow^n to us of his castles at Nimeguen or Ingelheim, of his palaces, of his capi- tol, or of the brilliant halls which he built at Aix, and which, as late as the fourteenth century, filled Petrarch with admiration when he made his journey into Germany, it may easily be ima- gined that they were modelled after the plan of the Roman imperial palaces then still existing. Only the imperial chapel of

Charlemagne has been preserved, in all its essential parts, in the nave of the minster at Aix (Fig. 190). This structure, the building of which last- ed from 796 to 804, combines within itself the best of what the mighty emperor could command in the way of sumptuousness of material, tech- nical skill, and richness of adorn- ment. Ravenna was obliged to yield up the marble columns, and Raven- na also gave the ground-plan. In- disputably it was the design of San Vitale which gave a motive to the Carlovingian architect. In this in- stance, too, there is a central octagon surrounded by low galleries ; though, by renouncing the system of niches, a greater simplicity of plan was secured. On the other hand, the spaces between the piers are filled out with an upper and lower colonnade, corresponding to an arcade and gallery. In the employment of this arrangement, the crudeness of the period betrays itself ; for the upper columns, with their capitals and entablature, come awkwardly into contact with the intrados of the arch. On the other hand, wise forethought and technical skill are shown in the general construction. The middle space is roofed by a dome ; the hexagonal aisle that sur- rounds this space is roofed with cross-vaulting ; while the lofty

Fig. lyo. Minster at Aachen.

Early Christian Art. — Monastery of St. Gall. 3 7 1

tunnel-vaulting of the upper galleries forms an effectual counter- fort force to the side-thrust of the dome. Nothing remains now of the mosaic decorations which once covered the vaulting ; but the rich doors and parapets of the galleries, cast in bronze, bear witness to the solidity and splendor of the finishing, as well as to the influence of the strictly Byzantine type of ornamentation. The former rectangular altar-niche made way later for a choir, built in the Gothic style.

The predilection for the Byzantine conception of fundamental forms appears in Charlemagne's Minster as in the Church of San Lorenzo at Milan ; but there are also indications, that, in other respects, the employment of the basilica model was con- sidered altogether lawful at that time. As very few specimens have been preserved of structures of this class at that period, the remarkable building-plan of the Monastery of St. Gall, pre- pared about the thirtieth year of the ninth century by a monk at the Prankish court, and still preserved in the library of the monastery, is of deep interest to us in making our survey com- plete.^ We recognize the clearly-accented plan of the basilica, with its broad central and two narrow side naves, as developed by the Romans ; and only in the addition of a second choir, oppo- site the principal one, we perceive the further encroachment of the needs of the ritual, as well as an important enrichment of design in the addition of the two circular bell-towers. As a lesser work of the same epoch, we may point out a hall at Lorsch, formerly open, and possibly belonging to some great ecclesiastical edifice, which betrays, in its columns, cornices, and other details, a constrained but careful imitation of ancient works ; while the bright mosaic marble decorations of the wall- panels harmonize with the gaudy taste of the time. Remains of a simple pier basilica of the Carlovingian age have recently been pointed out among the cloister-ruins at Steinbach in the Odemvald (possibly the cloister-church at Micholstadt, conse-

[1 Fergusson, Hand-Book of Architecture, vol. i. p. 556, has a woodcut of a portion of this plan of the Monastery of St. Gall, with a description.]

372 History of Art.

crated by Einhardt in 821), and also of the Abbey Church at Seligenstadt, also founded by Einhardt in 828.^ Nieder-Ingel- heim preserves a triumphal arch from the former palace-chapel of Charlemagne ; and the capitals of some isolated columns from the same building have found their way into the museum at Mayence.


The development of the plastic arts in early Christian times ^ shows the same essential features as their architecture, with the one difference that the tracing of the remarkable process by which a new life struggled to express itself through formal, antique, and traditional methods, is still more interesting than in the former case, because the contrast between the essence and the form is even more strongly marked. Christianity, still in its youth, could only approach with fear and trembling that voluptuous expression of a sensuous life which was a charac- teristic of ancient sculpture down to its latest periods. The danger of apostasy to the old, varied forms of idolatry was too serious. The stern admonition of the commandment to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth alone fell with especial em- phasis just then, when, to the veneration of the native divinities of Rome, there had lately been added the fantastic cults of Egypt and the East : hence it was that the Christians only occasionally dared make use of the plastic art to express the new ideas in the most timid manner ; though, in making such use, they willingly conformed to the laws of antique art. Therefore there were no new forms and representative types produced in the sculpture of early Christian times : the genius of ancient Roman sculpture is the inspiration of all such work.

1 Compare Dr. Schafer in Lutzow's Zeitschrift, ix. p. 129.

2 Compare Denkmaler der Kunst, plates 36, '})T, and A, plate 19. Bosio; Roma Sotter- ranea. Folio. Roma, 1787. Cav. De Rossi : Roma Sotterranea. Aringhi : Roma Subterra- nea Novissima. Folio. Roma, 1651. Bottari : Scultura e Pilture sagre estratte dai Cimiteri di Roma. Also the work of J. W. Appel, London, 1872, already referred to [with the work of Bellermann on the Paintings in the Catacombs of Naples. Hamburg, 1839].

Early Christian Art. — Statues. 373

Nothing is rarer than single statues of this period. With the exception of statues of the emperors, — executed, as in earlier times, according to the traditional style of Roman art, though with a gradual diminution of artistic force, and setting aside other memorial monuments, which, like the columns and obelisk of Theodosius at Constantinople, followed well-known Roman models, — there only remain for our information a few specimens of sacred figures. The great bronze statue of St. Peter, seated, in the main nave of St. Peter's at Rome, —possi- bly a production of the fifth century, severe and full of dignity in its bearing and drapery, and conceived in the spirit of the antique portrait-statues, — is the most important among these remains.^ Another seated statue, of St. Hippolytus, a marble of the same epoch, in the Christian Museum of the Latcran, has unfortunately been modernized in its most important portions. Nevertheless, it indicates a similar tendency in its lower part, which is antique. No examples have been preserved of statues of Christ, although we know that the Emperor Alexander Severus had one executed as early as the third century : hence we are unable to judge of the conception which they strove to express. A few isolated specimens of marble statuettes of the Good Shepherd have been preserved in the Christian Museum of the Lateran.

But the Christian idea was to find a more vigorous and gen- eral expression in the realm of painting ; for in this connection there was less danger of an intermixture of ancient Pagan modes of presentation. The claims of the merely corporeal element were partly withdrawn into the background ; and a greater facility for expressing the intimate social relation, the spiritual communion which united the members of the new society, was possible by means of the flexible element of color. Youns: Christian art availed itself more and more of this means, and conquered for itself a new field of activity, with

[1 Engraved in Liibke's History of Sculpture, English edition, p. 337. See J. W. Appel: Monuments of Early Christian Art, p. 6.]


History of Aid.

artistic laws and technicalities of its own, which determined the direction and limit of its productions : hence this is the mould in which the art of early Christian times was destined to shape itself in the most original, most significant, and most unfettered form.

But, before this consummation could be attained, a long series of stages had to be traversed, leading from an utter tasteless- ness in art up to the rainbow-hued glory of the superb basilicas.

Fig. 191. Early Christian Bronze Lamps and Glass.

The first picture-writing of early Christian times begins in an insignificant fashion with a few symbolic signs. At first these were only the Christian monogram, the Greek X P, or the Alpha and Omega, A P. (the beginning and the end), which, of frequent recurrence upon sarcophagi, as well as upon vessels and utensils used in every-day life, recalled devout memories to the hearts of believers.

This simplest form of inscription is especially attractive when

Early Christian Art. — Catacomb- Paintings. 375

associated with a reminder of ancient decorative art ; as in the case of the bronze lamps (Fig. 191, a, b), so many of which are found in the catacombs ; or as on the base of the glass jars (Fig. 191,^, ti) which are also found there, and which it was a favorite custom to fill with the wine of the eucharist, and put into the tomb with the dead. In the same way the Greek word IcJithys (fish) was employed instead of the name of Christ, or the simple representation of a fish was used in the same connec- tion. Art expresses itself here, as in all primitive productions, in symbols which are full of meaning, and which substitute an arbitrary sign for the real subject, according to a univ^ersal agreement. The number of these symbols was speedily in- creased as the knowledge grew of the picturesque phraseology of the Holy Scriptures. The cross as the sign of the sacrificial death and of redemption, the palm as a symbol of eternal peace, the peacock as a symbol of immortality, the lamb, the vine, the ship, all clearly referring to well-known passages in the Bible, — these, and many others of the same kind, were soon found in great numbers on sarcophagi, as well as on walls and on many vessels and utensils.

All these symbols use a language of which the form is thoroughly conventional and general, and the meaning is very apparent. The element of literal pictorial representation, of a personal and individual character, is not contained within its scope. The first decided step in this direction is that represen- tation of the Good Shepherd which has been so often repeated, and so much a favorite, where the shepherd is watching his flock, and bringing back the lost lamb to the fold. As Christ himself described himself under this allegorical figure, ancient Christian art took up the beautiful comparison with deep feel- ing, although contenting itself, even in this instance, with a general ideal allegorization, and in no wise attempting the de- lineation of a definite character. The shepherd is depicted as a graceful, beardless youth, in the short garment peculiar to shepherds, accordmg to the ideal manner of antique art. But

376 History of Art.

art did not stop here. The principal scenes in the life of our Lord, especially his miracles and his passion, were frequently and lovingly dwelt upon, as well as prominent passages in the Old Testament which contained references to his passion, and which were set forth as striking parallels : in this way the range of representation became ever wider and richer. The wonder- ful deliverance of Daniel from the den of lions, of Jonah from the belly of the whale, the ascension of Elijah, the sufferings of Job, and many similar scenes, were plainly shown to contain references to the Messiah ; particular allusions being also dis- covered therein to his sorrows, his persecutions, and to the promised redemption. The meagre forms of ancient art were brought into play to represent his appearance, all further allu- sions being expressed merely by means of symbols. Sun and moon, day and night, rivers and mountains, are simply given as personifications, side by side with the personages of the Old and New Testament, as a proof how their original mythological meaning had faded out in men's minds. This is even more distinctly the case when creations of Pagan mythology are made the subjects of Christian representation ; when Cupid and Psyche are to be met with among Christian works of art, or when the artist goes so far as to represent Christ as Ori)heus with the lyre. This occurs in the centre-piece of one of the most beautiful specimens of ancient Christian wall-painting found in the catacomb of St. Cali.xtus, which wc give in Fig. 192. In the eight spaces surrounding the principal figure are small landscapes, containing alternately an animal or representa- tions from the Old and New Testament ; as Moses smiting the rock ; opposite him Christ raising Lazarus from the dead, who is represented as a mummy ; then Daniel in the den of lions ; and, facing him, David with the sling.

The sarcophagi belong to the most important monuments which are brought to our notice in this shifting kaleidoscope of early Christian art. Their sides are decorated with reliefs, according to the old heathen fashion. Their artistic treatment

Early Christian Art. — Catacomb- Paintings. 377

indicates the character of Roman works of this description of a later period. As in the case of the latter, these display a superficial, mechanical character. They are sometimes over- burdened with ornamentation; again they possess a simple rhythmical harmony ; and yet again they recall the later art of

Fig. iq2. Ceiling-Painting in the Catacombs of St. Calixtus.

Rome by architectural decorations of small columns with pedi- ments and arches. The miracles of Christ — the healing of the man with the palsy, the multiplication of the loaves, and the turning of the water into wine, and others — are contrasted with striking scenes from the Old Testament. Moses causing water to flow from the rock, the creation of the first man,


Hisfory of Art.

the fall, and so on, all are, with slight variations, the constantly- recurring themes of these sculptures. In some of these, there is a genuine utterance of the antique spirit ; in others, again, the sentiment is dull and heavy, and there is an entire misun- derstanding of the relations of the body, — an illustration of the abrupt decline of this last relic of ancient art.

The catacombs contained a great number of works of this kind, which have been almost all removed to the Museum of

Fig. 193. Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus. Rome.

the Lateran. Others, again, are to be found in the vaults of St. Peter's at Rome (Grotte Vaticane), at Ravenna, and in several other places. One of the finest of these monuments is the sarcophagus of Junius Bassus (died 359), in the vaults of St. Peter's (Fig. 193). It contains five subjects from the Old and New Testament in two rows of figures, the meaning of which is not always clear. Much ruder is the sarcophagus of Probus (died 395), which is to be seen in the same place. In the Church of St. Ambrose in Milan there is a remarkable

Early Christian Art. — Sarcophagi.


sarcophagus under the chancel, in which there are striking reminders of ancient art. In the foreground (Fig. 194) is Christ teaching, surrounded by his apostles ; above him, on the border of the cover, are the figures, in medallion, of the dead enclosed in the sarcophagus ; and near these, in obvious parallelism, the adoration of the magi, and the three youths before Nebuchad- nezzar, who is vainly urging upon them the worship of idols. A work remarkable in conception, and magnificent in execution,

)i_2y:^jj : Ii2:_'Jj_-_' ' " -■ "r ^^r^OvMr^ j g^g^ 0^2;_$^^^^^ ^- ■:■ .• h- (-"^ ■ f- '.- j -j. ":;

Fig. 194. Sarcophagus in the Church of St. Ambrose. Milan.

is the porphyry sarcophagus of Constantia, the daughter of Constantine, which has been transferred from her burial chapel to the Vatican Museum. Its surface is covered with heavy branches of grape-vine, and with genii gathering and pressing grapes ; the difficulty of working with the material employed contrasting finely with the exquisiteness of the workmanship.

The works in ivory open another field of investigation into early Christian art. Ivory had been employed by the Romans


History of Art.

for many purposes of luxury ; among the number the diptychs of the consuls, which consisted of two writing-tablets fastened together, the covers of which were adorned with carvings. These were imitated during the Christian period, and adapted for use either as movable altars, or as book-covers for the Holy Scriptures. Scenes from the Hfe of Christ were designed upon these tablets at an early day, as well as incidents in the lives of the saints. There is an ivory tablet in the sacristy of the Duomo at Salerno, on which is illustrated with antique spirit the death of Ananias (Fig. 195). Sapphira is rendering the lying account of her stewardship to the apostle, who is holding

Fig. 195. Ananias and Sapphira. Ivory Tablet at Salerno.

up a warning finger, whilst her husband is meanwhile being carried out. Above, the outstretched hand of God is repre- sented, as a material reminder of the fact that this is an illus- tration of his immediate interposition. There are also to be seen numerous boxes of i\ory, which were doubtless originally designed to contain the consecrated elements, the surface of which is also covered with reliefs. The museum at Berlin contains a notable example of this kind ; the Hotel de Cluny at Paris, another ; and there are several similar ones in Hanover, in the possession of Ph.D. F, Hahn,' bookseller.

1 Fiinf Elfenbeingefasse des friihestcn Mittelalters, herausgegeben von F. Hahn. Hanover, 1862. I See a useful little volume, Ivories Ancient and Mediaeval, by William Maskell ; an

Early Christian Art. — Catacomb- Paintings. 381

It was in a similar way that the conceptions of the new doc- trine acquired an artistic expression in the earliest Christian times, — by means of the wall-paintings in the catacombs. At a very early date a pictorial decoration of the simplest and most transitory kind began to be adopted in the vaulting, the niches, and on the walls of the more important chambers, in the chapels, and the resting-places of the illustrious dead. At first the type of antique wall-painting was carefully followed, save that Chris- tian symbols and pictures take the place of Pagan forms. Still, their character in the beginning, as in the antique, was that of a liuht and cheerful decoration. The division of space, the treat- ment of color, and the style of drawing, do not differ from the heathen prototype.

Among all these repre- sentations, the favorite fig- ure, and the one that most frequently recurs, is that of the Good Shepherd.' He appears in a buoyant, youth- ful figure, with a short gar- ment, tenderly carrying the recovered lamb upon his shoulder (Fig. 196). About him are grouped represen- tations of other figures and important incidents, whose bearings upon each other are often thoughtfully ex- pressed ; while throughout the conception is usually clear, and the general arrangement

abstract of the larger work by the same author, published by the South-Kensington Museum, and republished here by Scribner, Welford, & Armstrong. New York, 1876. See also, in La- barte's Le Moyen Age et la Renaissance, some excellent plates of ivory diptychs, consular and


1 Franz Kugler : Von den altesten Kunstbildungen der Christen. Berlin, 1S34.

Fig. 196. The Good Shepherd. From the Catacombs

of Santa Agnese.

382 History of Art.

corresponds to the rhythmic type of the antique. All these representations still exhale the pure, simple atmosphere of ancient art, which gave to the whole a certain dignity of ornament, without giving prominence to individual figures.

An air of deep spirituality, hallowed tranquillity, and peace- ful calm, makes these figures and scenes — most of them on a small scale — especially attractive, portraying as it does the typical expression of the essentially Christian temper. The catacombs of St. Calixtus are particularly rich in such works (Fig. 192) ; above all, the very ancient pictures in the crypt of Sta. Lucina, and in the sacramental crypts, so called, as well as in those of SS. Nereus and Achilleus (or St. Domitilla), of St. Praetextatus, Sta. Priscilla, Sta. Agnese, and others at Rome. The third, rather than the fourth century, was the period which brought this tendency to its full development ; for this mode of representation had already begun to dissatisfy the succeeding epoch. In the course of the fifth century there came up, in the place of that tranquil, composed, spiritually symbolic form of expression, a striving after a more distinct stamp of individ- uality, a more forcible conception of personality. The more antique tradition retired into the background, the less satisfac- tion was felt with a dignified and cheerful system of decoration in the spirit of older art. The walls of these narrowly-defined architectonic limits were broken down ; and grander forms attained to more powerful, independent, and striking expression. While the individual figure had at first unassumingly proclaimed its symbolical significance merely as a part of the great whole, it was now to be more distinctly marked, and its personal char- acteristics indicated as history defined them. The scenes of the sacred legends were strikingly portrayed ; and the figures of sacred personages, before all others that of the Saviour, were thrown forward in strong relief. It was not enough now to represent Christ under the allegorical figure of the Good Shep- herd : men endeavored to reproduce the appearance of the Divine Teacher in the fulness of spiritual power and calm sub-

Early Christian Ai^t. — Catacomb- Paintings. 383

limity. Although the technical means were constantly growing more meagre, and the artistic knowledge of form becoming indistinct, the spiritual power, the soulful grandeur, of these pictures, often rises to a lofty significance, which more than makes up for poverty of form in depth and intensity of expres- sion.

Numerous specimens of this tendency are preserved in the catacombs of San Ponziano at Rome. The type of the head of Christ appears here already fixed in its more essential features. The noble oval of the countenance is shaded by long brown, flowing hair, parted in the middle ; the large eyes look straight forward with a deeply-thoughtful gaze ; the nose is long and delicate, the mouth earnest and gentle ; the beard has almost the downy look of youth. The left hand holds the open book of life ; while the right is raised, as though in solemn command and exhortation.

Though Christian painting was compelled to lead a hidden, subterranean life in the catacombs, it was called forth at an early day to a powerful and splendid activity. The basilicas, which, after the recognition of Christianity by the State, were erected everywhere in great numbers, stood in need of a style of decoration appropriate to the present position of the Church. At first, the models of ancient art seem to have served as an inspiration for this purpose also. Whether, at last, that light decorative style did not appear suitable for the great spaces and solemn dignitv of the ecclesiastical structures, or whether the necessity for a richer method was felt, — perhaps giving an impulse to the tendency toward Byzantine modes of thought, — we find, even in the fourth century, an art in use for the decora- tion of churches, which, though undoubtedly originating in the antique, was now pushing its way up to an essentially new and loftier development under the influence of novel requirements. This art, — that of working in mosaic, — which was employed among the old Romans almost entirely for the adornment of the pavement, was called from its humble position to fulfil a

384 History of Art.

higher destiny in adorning the walls of the Christian temples with the grandly-solemn figures of Christ and of his saints. To be sure, this technical form was far surpassed by wall-paint- ing in lightness and play of design : the more delicate lines of the physique, the softer shades of expression, did not lie within the compass of its possibilities. But early Christian art laid but little stress upon the charm of physical grace, or the idyllic expression of sentiment. What it wanted was great and power- ful fundamental features, forcibly-expressed types of the sacred figures, which should declare themselves unmistakably at a dis- tance, and fill the soul of the spectator with devout reverence. To this end, the art of mosaic, quite apart from its singular durability and indestructible strength, was eminently suited ; and its very want of adaptability was an advantage, because the type, once secured, was easily held fast without fear of any special innovation, and developed into a distinct canon. To be sure, therein again lay the danger of petrifying into typical formalism, as eventually came to pass in the case of Byzantine art, which split upon this very rock. But, even aside from this, the Byzantines could not have escaped from their soulless for- malism ; whilst, on the other hand, Roman art gives proof of a depth and vital strength of feeling which cannot but make itself evident even within the bounds of the technical difficul- ties of mosaic.

The strict architectonic arrangement of space was a neces- sary consequence of this mode of artistic expression. The law of this arrangement, however, differed widely from the principle which regulated ancient wall-painting. In the early Christian mosaics, the law of decoration, which is all-important in ancient productions, passes into the background, and gives place to a strict harmony of forms. These balance one another like dif- ferent parts of an architectural structure, fully occupying the space at command with their massive proportions. There is a rigidly-preserved unity in their order, their pose, and their rela- tive position, producing an effective and dignified impression.

Early Christian Art. — Mosaics. 385

Ornamental details are used but sparingly ; and where the ancients sought to divide up minutely the flat surface of every wall or niche by elegant adjuncts, imitation of architectural forms, and festoons, the great surfaces of the apses and trium- phal arches are here treated as a whole, and, as such, enclosed in an ornamental framework. Only the great extent of surface in the clere-story of the nave seems to call for a division of parts, which successfully repeat the effect of the harmonious arrangement of the arcades.

Through all these elements, early Christian mosaic acquires a character of simple grandeur and sublimity, certain of its independent artistic effect. In the impression made by these qualities, it is of little consequence that much remains to be desired in the formal treatment of the figures, and that the artist is deficient in a knowledge of the physical organism and the play of its parts. One is still strongly reminded, in essen- tials, of that dignity which the Roman antique knew so well how to impress upon its senatorial figures ; and even in drapery, posture, and action, ancient art long remained the guide which the Christian mosaic pictures followed. A special definiteness, and variety of characteristics, is observable in the heads. Christ is represented as the catacomb pictures had shown him, except that the expression of his head is more impressive, graver, and more earnest, — more like that of a mature man.

The range of representation is a narrow one, — Christ with his saints and apostles, as well as with the Ancient of days of the Apocalypse ; also the Madonna and Child, frequently sur- rounded by angels. To these may be added a few symbolic figures, — the lamb, the palm, the cross, the peacock, and so on. The whole story is told with a very few touches ; but the appear- ance of reality is the last thing that is considered. The persons represented tread on a blue ground, or float on clouds : only in rare instances the ground is green, and colored flowers are suggested.

The chronological sequence of the monuments shows, in the

^86 History of Art.


case of the mosaics, a series of transformations and variations of style; as a result of which follows, however, not a higher development, but a gradual decay, until finally, at the end of the sixth century, deteriorated Italian art is replaced by the typical forms of the Byzantine. The most ancient mosaics which have survived to us are those which exist on the wall of Santa Costanza in Rome, — the burial-chapel of the daugh- ter of Constantine. There are branches of grape-vine in the manner of ancient art, but evidently, as on the sarcophagus of Constantia, employed to embody Christian doctrine. The execution, it must be admitted, is formal and crude. In the same style are the rich wall-mosaics in the Chapel of San Nazario and San Celso in Ravenna, the burial-chapel of Galla Placidia, designed in the early [xirt of the fifth century. There are magnificent clusters of grapes, interspersed with symbolic forms; such as the hart, referring to the soul thirsting after righteousness. Other impressive forms, such as the good shepherd, belong to this category.

The succeeding period shows a still further departure from symbolism, and, in its stead, a noticeable deepening of the characteristics of painting ; as, for instance, in the remark- able mosaics in the baptistery of San Giovanni-in-Fonte at Ravenna, built in the first part of the fifth century. The baptism of Christ occupies the centre of the dome, surrounded by the figures of the apostles, the whole encircled by profuse ornamentation, which is more or less interspersed with sym- bolic designs, — the entire subject treated in a style of solemn grandeur, and carried out with wonderful splendor of color.

The masterpieces of the latter part of the fifth century are the mosaics on the wall of the triumphal arch in San Paolo in Rome, which have recently been restored in accordance with remains and drawings. The colossal torso of Christ towers in the centre, in a medallion ; extremely impressive, although with a terrible and unlovely expression. Above this are the symbols of the evangelists, which, even then, were established ;

Early Christian Art. — Mosaics. 387

as the angel, the eagle, the ox, and the lion. Arranged in two rows on either side are the twenty-four elders of the Apoca- lypse, in white robes, with crowns in their hands, bending ador- ing knees. There is little difference between these figures : the motive is limited ; but, nevertheless, the conception of the whole is exceedingly significant. About half way down, on a smaller space on the sides of the arch, are the two apostle-princes, St. Peter and St. Paul, — the former designated by the key, the latter by the sword. The line of division between the two groups is effected with all imaginable simplicity by means of a horizontal line drawn under the row of the elders. Rolls containing inscriptions constitute the frames, which are with- out further decoration. Thus does the rich play of fancy of antique decorative art give way before the earnest severity of pictorial representation.

The mosaic in the apse of the Church of San Cosmo and San Damiano may be regarded as the last in the series of the great mosaics of that early period in Rome, and belongs to the years 526-530 (Fig. 197). The figure of Christ is pre- sented at full length on a blue ground, supported by colored clouds, carrying a mantle upon his left arm, after the ancient fashion ; in his left hand a roll ; whilst his right hand is out- stretched expressively, as though in solemn command. On both sides six figures are symmetrically arranged, — five saints, and Pope Felix IV., the patron of the work. These figures, with the exception of the latter (which is a restoration), are admirable instances of a style formed upon antique models, although, perhaps, become a little stiff. The earnestness of the heads, the repose of the attitudes, and the superb grouping, give a character of great solemnity to the whole, such as is expressed by no other work of the kind in so great degree. Beneath this representation a broad frieze is drawn, on which are lambs, the symbolic representations of Christ and the apostles. On the wall surrounding the Tribune may still be seen traces of angels, and of the elders of the Apocalypse.


History oj Art.

About the beginning of the sixth century the last relics of antique art in Italy had been so entirely destroyed, and life had been so shaken and confused, by the changing march of events, that Italy was no longer capable of originating artistic work. But a new culture had sprung up in Byzantium, which attained to its highest pitch of splendor under Justinian. Its foundations rested upon antique principles ; but it had, besides

Fig. 197. Mosaic iu the Church of SS Cosmo aud Daniiano. Rome.

this, derived a decided coloring from the influences of the East, and also from a court ceremonial of a very high order of civili- zation. This so-called Byzantine style, from this time forth, began to exert a profound influence upon the Christian world. Italv was especially subjected to this influence, from the fact that she had been subjugated to the kingdom of Greece by Narses and Belisarius, and in any case was utterly incapable of

Early Christian Art. — The Byzantines. 389

exercising spiritual culture and artistic endeavor. It followed that Byzantine art succeeded in producing the precise result which the Church had aimed at accomplishing with her splendor of external representation ; that is, a canon of forms and figures already elaborated, and having all the advantages of a com- pletely-mastered technique, worked out in magnificent materials. At this period the division, arising from difference of dogma, between the Eastern and the Western Church, had not yet taken place ; so that Byzantine art met with no opposition, even from this quarter.

The central idea of Byzantine art is a gorgeous execution, kept within bounds by the fixed laws of the Church. Not only did the Oriental feeling demand the most costly stuffs, as well as pearls, gold, silver, and jewels, for the decoration of altars, of chancels, and of shrines, — a custom which speedily spread throughout all Christendom, and instituted an extraordinary transformation in the construction of ecclesiastical edifices, — but also, dating from this period, a gold ground was universally employed in mosaics, in the place of the blue ground formerly in universal use. Owing to the quantity of small, almost innu- merable bits of which these great wall-pictures were composed, the light was now broken up into countless reflections, which gave an incredibly brilliant effect. The figures represented stand out in bold relief, in their symmetrical strength, from this background. Nor did the simple coloring of early Christian art, with the ancient garment of white forming its most elabo- rate costume, any longer suffice : on the contrary, a rich, gay court-costume of the prevailing fashion at a luxurious Oriental court was taken as a model, often overlaid with gold and other ornaments in elaborate patterns.

Nor was the influence of the splendid ritual less marked in the disposition and arrangement of the figures than in their dress ; and, though a statuesque calm was aimed at in the type of early Christian art adopted in the West, — an effect of solemn withdrawal from the ordinary things of life, — this same

390 History of Art.

tendency, when under the influence of the outward forms that marked the Church in Byzantium, crystallized into mere for- mality limited by rule and line. Even the laws of physical development were made to yield to this effort after external dignity and sublimity ; and the human form is made to assume a disproportionate length, far beyond that of its natural propor- tions, for the sake of producing a more powerful impression. In accordance with this idea, an effort is made to give to the faces an expression of grave and dignified composure ; but it generally only succeeds in making them harsh, gloomy, and unamiable. A narrow oval face, large eyes (often set quite obliquely), a long, thin nose, a pinched mouth, and narrow chin, are the ordinary characteristics of the Byzantine counte- nance; to which are usually added a gray head and beard, generally trimmed and arranged in the conventional and preva- lent court-fashion. Bound to these forms and laws of an external ceremonial, Byzantine art soon grew stiff and rigid, and offered a new proof that a really original development can only proceed from a true spiritual life, and that mere dogmatism is death to all intellectual progress. But as that which is so firmly and dogmatically fixed is most easily handed down from one to another, and we are too apt to go to formulae and ex- ternal rules for our instruction, it was just what was formulated and accurately limited in this art which tended to recommend^ it. Particularly when its technical forms became perfected by long practice, its work tended more and more toward deli-- cacy of execution ; and later artists began to beautify its austere type with noble inspirations. Especially is this the case in miniature-painting, which long preserved many beautiful and expressive traces of the ancient" spirit.^

As for the subjects treated, they did not, for the most part, go beyond the limitations of early Christian art. The principal theme is generally Christ triumphant, and judging the world,

1 A series of fine examples will be found in J. Labarte's History of the Industrial Arts. Translated. London, 1865.

Early Christian Art. — Mosaics at Raveniia. 391

surrounded by his angels, the apostles, the saints, and the Madonna as queen of heaven, — all severe in bearing, and solemn in their calm repose. But Byzantine art, guided by imperial influences, often adds pictures of worldly ceremonies, in which the emperor with all his retinue appears in the full splendor of court-costume. The purely historical seldom ap- pears ; and, when it does, it is without any pretension to dra- matic animation.

Fig. igS. From the Mosaics of San Vitale. Ravenna.

The remains at Ravenna show that the inclination towards Byzantine conceptions extended into sculpture also. The earli- est and most important works, dating back before 550, are in the tribune and the choir of San Vitale. In the vaulting of the apse, Christ, enthroned amid his saints, still wears a youth-


92 History of Art.

ful form, as early art always represents him ; but the golden background indicates the transition to the Byzantine style,— an indication which is decisively confirmed by the gorgeous pic- tures of state-ceremonial on the lower wall of the chancel. Here we see the Emperor Justinian, and, opposite, his consort Theodora, both in magnificent court-costume, and surrounded by their suites, by spiritual and temporal dignitaries, and a body- guard, all depicted in the act of taking part in a solemn reli- gious procession. (Fig. 198 gives part of the empress's retinue.) Scenes from the Old Testament, most of them symbolical of the sacrifice of the new covenant, are portrayed upon the choir- walls, rather meagrely executed upon dark ground, and sur- rounded by symbolical figures and emblems. Among the scenes given are the Sacrifice of Abel, Abraham with the Angels, Abra- ham and Melchisedec, Abraham's Sacrifice of Isaac, and others of like nature. The extensive mosaic frieze in the central nave of S. Apollinare Nuovo belongs to the same period. Proces- sions of saints and martyrs — the men on the left, the women on the right hand — are issuing from the cities of Ravenna and Classis, and moving in long procession towards the altar, filling in admirable order all the spaces between the arcades and win- dows, and following the lines of llic colonnades towards the holy of holies. The effect is throughout lofty and sustained, carrying out the main idea suggestively and happily.

The mosaics with wliich St. Sophia at Constantinople was adorned, probably about 560 A.D., are, however, the most ex- tensive work of this epoch. The pictures in the choir, and the great representation, in the dome, of Christ judging the world, have disappeared. The remaining mosaics are well preserved under the whitewash with which Turkish orthodoxy has care- fully covered them ; and a few years ago, on the occasion of some repairs, they came to light, and were copied. In the pen- dentives of the great dome, fantastic figures of cherubim, with their threefold pairs of wings, admirably fill the spaces. On each side of the walls of the drum, beneath the dome, saintly

Early Christian Art. — Mosaics in Sta. Sophia. 393

bishops and prophets are ranged between the windows. In the arched vaulting of the gallery, among other remains, there is a Descent of the Holy Spirit, conceived on a grand scale ; and finally, in the vestibule, in the arch-panel of the chief entrance- door, there is a Christ, seated upon a fancifully-adorned throne, beside him medallions of the Madonna and the archangel Michael, while at one side of the throne an emperor in mag- nificent costume kneels on the ground in an Oriental posture of devotion, possibly Justinian himself (Fig. 199). This figure shows most clearly the rigid type of this school of art, incapable

Fig. 199. Mosaic in the Vestibule of Santa Sophia.

as it was of free movement ; whilst in the other figures there is a hint of antique influence, though of degenerate kind.

From this time forth, the influence of Byzantine art spread irre- sistibly throughout the West. There are, indeed, isolated works in Italy, which, without a marked impress of Byzantinism, repeat the early Christian school of painting in a crude, barbaric way ; but the predominant character rests upon the Byzantine form, — rigid in type, almost like a servile copy, and constantly grow- ing more lifeless and dreary. The first works of any importance from the latter part of the seventh century (671-677) are the mosaic pictures of Sant' Apollinare in Classe, at Ravenna. The altar-apse follows the model of S. Vitale in its representa-

394 History of Art.

tion of Old-Testament scenes, as well as in a picture of a solemn ceremonial. A number of early Christian symbols are intro- duced in the main nave, between the arcade-arches, by way of suitably filling up the space : above these extends a frieze of medallions of the archbishops of Ravenna, which aids in giv- ing an original and varied arrangement to this flat surface. In Rome, the apse of San Teodoro displays a mosaic of the same century, in which there is a repetition of early Christian models, especially pictures of SS. Cosmo and Damiano ; while the mosaics in the apse of Santa Agnese (625-638), on the other hand, appear to be Byzantine in tendency, and are remarkable for the circumstance that the patron saint of the church him- self appears, between two other saints, in the place usually assigned to the Saviour or to his mother.

Another most striking mosaic picture, from the apse of the Triclinium Lateranensis (the refectory of the old Lateran Palace of Leo III. in 800), was removed at a later period to the chapel of the Scala Santa. In the apse Christ appears standing, and surrounded by his apostles. In liis right hand he holds the book of life; while with the left he delivers the symbols of supremacy to Peter, who stands nearest him. This idea is further carried out upon the two wall-surfaces beside the apse. To the right, the Lord is represented as conferring the keys upon Pope Syl- vester, while he bestows the banner with the cross upon the Emperor Constantine ; to the left, Peter awards a stole to Leo III., and a banner to Charlemagne, as symbols of spiritual and temporal power.

The mosaics of San Prassede belong to the most extensive remains of this period. In the apse Christ appears, surrounded by six saints ; while beneath is a frieze on which lambs are de- picted ; and on the walls of transept and triumphal arch are seen the evangelists and the elders of the Apocalypse, sur- rounded by angels ; the whole being, in short, a repetition of the early Christian school of painting, only smaller in proportions, and with a Byzantine hardness of expression. Besides these,

Early Christian Art. — Mosaics at Milan. 395

the little chapel in the right side-nave is a perfect specimen of mosaic decoration of this period.

Outside of Rome, the mosaic work in the apse of Sant' Am- brogio, at Milan, is a valuable work of this epoch, though it has been, to a great extent, restored. In the centre, a singularly- rigid figure of our Lord is enthroned between the archangels Michael and Gabriel on one side, and the saints Gervasius and Protasius on the other ; these latter not without a certain solemn grandeur of aspect. Angels hover above, in the act of crowning them. To the right, the city of Milan is seen, with Saints Ambrose and Augustine seated at reading-desks ; to the left the city of Tours, where Ambrose is conducting the funeral-service of St. Martin. The coloring, especially in the draperies, is bright and gaudy. The whole execution is crude, and the composition somewhat confused and disordered.

The important architectural enterprises of Charlemagne fall- ing in this epoch, a fine opportunity was afforded for the use of wall-decorations. Unfortunately, nothing remains of these works : but we know that the colossal figure of Christ enthroned, and surrounded by the apocalyptic elders, on a background of gold, with red stars, filled the dome of his minster at Aix-la- Chapelle ; that the basilica at Ingelheim was adorned with scenes from the Old and New Testament ; that the palaces at the latter place and at Aix boasted of frescos portraying the history of the Prankish Empire and of the reign of Charles, — an indication that here, perhaps, in spite of rigid form and Byzantinian presentation, a breath of fresh vitality and inde- pendence had begun to permeate art.

The style of the mosaics executed in the second half of the ninth century, on the front arch of the dome of St. Sophia at Constantinople, testifies to the state of art in Byzantium at that period. They represent a bust of the Madonna, enframed by other sacred figures, in the severe formalistic treatment of later Byzantine art, but not without dignity, and even a certain austere grace. A revival of the older types may be observed


96 History of Art.

in these and kindred works, — a revival which ushered in a new era, though only one of external development, following upon the intermediate stage of that violent iconoclastic con- troversy which ended with the rejection of sculpture and the acceptation of painting. The study of the further petrifaction of this art, until it finally degenerated into mere lifeless imita- tion, can be of no possible interest to us.

Beside these great lasting works, a series of minor produc- tions in the artistic handicrafts may be traced through the different periods of the early Christian epoch, an idea of which is requisite to complete our survey of the gradual development of early Christian art. First in order comes the work in ivory, which constituted a most important article in ecclesiastical as well as worldly luxury in Byzantium. The consular diptychs — small double tablets fastened together, the inner-side intended to be used for writing, while the outside was adorned with carved work — used to be given as presents, in great quantities, whenever a new consul came into office ; and some specimens of them are still extant. They usually display the image of the consul in the act of giving the signal for the beginning of the public games. The most ancient diptych in existence, it is supposed, is in the Imperial Library at Berlin, and dates back to 416. The Imperial Library at Paris owns a tablet of Flavius Felix, 428 A.D. ; and there are two in the treasury of the church at Monza. That of Areobindus, in the town-library at Zurich, is of 506 A.D. ; and another in Paris dates from 517. These tablets were subsequently employed as costly bindings for books used in the churches ; and from this originated the custom of adorning such minor works of art with scenes of religious significance. The Byzantine productions of this kind are remarkable for neat and elegant technical execution, and for many lifelike traits. The most magnificent work in ivory which has come down to us is the throne of Bishop Maximi- anus, in the sacristy of the Duomo at Ravenna, assigned to the year 550: it is entirely covered with carvings, a splendid

Early Christian Art. — Ivory Carvings. 397

piece of sumptuous decoration (Fig. 200). Among the re- lievos, those on the arms, descriptive of the history of Joseph, are designed with a good deal of the antique spirit. The vine- like friezes, too, exhibit much natural freshness, with their lions, deer, peacocks, &c.

Fig. 200. Chair of Bishop Maximianus. Ravenna.

After these, an important place must be assigned to the illu- minations in the parchment missals of the time. Even this kind of industry depends entirely upon ancient prototypes, as is evident from the illuminated manuscripts of Virgil and Terence m the Vatican Library, and those of Homer in the Ambrosian Library at Milan, — copies of antique compositions, though with an ever-increasing degeneracy of style. The sacred writings of


History of Art.

the Christians, notably those of the Old Testament, began to be illustrated in a like manner at an early date ; for example, the parchment roll, thirty-five feet long, in the Vatican Library at Rome, with representations from the life of Joshua; the manuscript of the first eight books of the Old Testament in the same library; and the manuscript of Genesis in the Im- perial Library at Vienna. The influence of the antique can clearly be traced everywhere in these works, both in conception and treatment, even to the minor details of the work.

Fig. 20.. The Emperor Lothair and Charles the Fat. Frankish Miniatures.

In later periods, the Frankish illuminations, especially, con- firm the impression that antique art was revived for the last time in such productions, although through the medium of a rigid Byzantine interpretation, and with a somewhat barbarous style of treatment. A solid richness of execution accompanies it, analogous to the architectural productions of a similar school and epoch. The earliest works of the time of Charlemagne


Early Chiistiau Art. — Irish Manuscripts.


are also the most vigorous, as is shown by several manuscripts in the town-library at Treves, and in the royal library at Paris. Other w^orks, to be found in Paris, and executed for Louis the Pious and Charles the Bald, already give evidence of a decay of artistic power ; particularly so an evangelarium of the Emperor Lothair, preserved in the same place (Fig. 201 b). A still more decided degeneracy and rudeness is exhibited in works of the time of Charles the Fat, as proved by the richly- ornamented manuscripts of the Vulgate of S. Calixtus, now in the Benedictine Monastery of San Paolo at Rome (Fig. 201 d). Beside the Frankish illuminations of this late period the Irish productions deserve especial promi- nence, as presenting a strong contrast to the style founded on the antique, and bringing, for the first time, a distinctly Northern national element into Christian art. They are, however, of such a curi- ously-fantastic description, and admitting such singular deviation from the laws of organic development, that they distort the lines of the human form into a mere com- bination of chirographic twists and turns, and tangle it in ribbon-like mazes, min- ded with fanciful ornaments of snakes' and dragons' heads (Fig. 202). A perfect wealth of inventive power seems to be solely used to obliterate all traces of the natural development of the human organ- ism, causing the lines of structure to devi- ate into all kinds of novel and curious complications. The oldest work of any

importance illustrating this tendency is found in the evange- larium of St. Wilibrand, of the beginning of the eighth century, in the Paris Library. The illuminations of the so- called Cuthbert Book, an Anglo-Saxon evangelarium in the

Fig. 202. Irish Miniature.

400 History of Art.

British Museum at London, belong to about the same period. A good many other specimens, from the eighth to the tenth century, may be found in Enghsh Hbraries, as well as in the former Monastery of St. Gall, which was a colony of Irish monks.^

The illuminations of the Anglo-Saxon school occupy a promi- nent position between the Prankish and Irish productions, adopting the fantastic methods of the Irish artists, though limiting it to the decorative adjuncts, and following in their symbolic figures the Byzantine conceptions then in use.

The Byzantine illuminations of this closing period give evidence of a surprising advance in mere technical skill, — a natural consequence of the suppression of artistic productions during the opposition of the iconoclasts. While their execu- tion carries the neat and delicate elegance of this school to its highest state of perfection, the conception of figure and form betrays a decided re-action toward antique types, often repro- ducing them in a wonderfully spirited and attractive manner. We find again all the ancient personification of mountains and rivers, of mental conditions and moral attributes, often com- bined with a freedom and vivacity of movement which is only occasionally limited by deficient knowledge, or by conventional exaggerations of form. Among the numerous works of this description still to be seen is a manuscript of the sermons of Gregory of Nazianzen, dating from the ninth century, in the Paris Library, and an illuminated manuscript of Isaiah in the Library of the Vatican, from the close of the century following. A gradual decline in technical skill and in conception begins with the eleventh century, until finally the last spark of artistic activity smoulders utterly away ; though sometimes we en- counter isolated works at later periods, in which the traditions of ancient art are pervaded by a loftier energy.

The decorative work intended for the adornment of the sanc-

[1 See J. O. Westwood. Facsimiles of the Miniatures and Ornaments of Anglo-Saxon and Irish Manuscripts. Folio. London, iS68.]

Early Christian Art. — Love of Splendor. 401

tuary and the utensils employed in divine worship should be mentioned in conclusion, as especially indicative of the spirit of this epoch. It has already been observed, that the Byzantine love of pomp delighted to make use of the most costly materials — precious metals, pearls and gems — for such purposes. We are told of the Church of St. Sophia at Constantinople, that the choir was screened off by silver columns and rails ; that the golden altar, richly set with precious stones, was crowned by a lofty silver tabernacle ; and that hangings embroidered with gold veiled the openings between the tabernacle pillars. This love of splendor, beginning at Byzantium, quickly spread over Western Christendom. Everywhere the churches vied with each other in the costliness of their furnishing ; everywhere the supreme desire to display the most sumptuous material resulted in subordinating artistic workmanship to the material employed. In the beginning of the ninth century, when, through the liberality of the Carlovingians, the bishops of Rome had come into possession of worldly power and an ex- tensive realm, the churches in Rome especially had a profusion of decoration lavished upon them. The Church of St. Peter was fitted up with a costly magnificence that defies description. The doors were overlaid with silver plates ; so also the pavement before the crypt of St. Peter, and the cross-beams beneath the triumphal arch ; while the crypt itself was paved with plates of gold, not to mention countless utensils in gold and silver, and lamps and candelabra, altar-vestments and images, of the same precious metals. Although figures in relievo and sculptured ornaments of different descriptions were of frequent occurrence upon these articles, the impression they made was more pictu- resque than plastic ; and the combination of various precious metals, pearls, and variegated gems, added to the frequent orna- ments in exquisite enamel, proved the delight that was felt in glowing effects of color. The covering of the high altar of Sant' Ambrogio at Milan, dating from the first half of the ninth century, and ascribed to a certain Master Wolvinus, and the


History of Art.

Pala d'Oro of St. Mark's in Venice, made at Constantinople in the eleventh century, give some idea of these magniticent ob- jects. The so-called Dalmatica of Charlemagne, in the treasury of St. Peter's at Rome, may be mentioned as a specimen of the gorgeous vestments of this period, as it certainly does not date back farther than the twelfth century.

The same love of pomp soon spread among the Northern peoples, — the German, Slavs, and other nations, — not confin- ing itself to ecclesiological purposes alone, but also entering into the needs of secular life. Byzantine art, with the advan- tage of its technical perfection and the splendor of its gold- smiths' work, was admirably fitted to satisfy all such demands ;

and it was well calculat- ed to enchant the eyes of a half-civilized people by its use of pearls and gems, colored enamels, and nielli (metal inlaid with' ornaments or fig- ures in black), as well as by its filigree-work (me- tallic threads of great delicacy soldered in an infinite variety of pat- terns), producing a rich polychromatic effect, conceived after the model and in the spirit of old Eastern art ; pleasing the barbarian with these, just as it still affords the keenest pleasure to the cultivated taste by the harmony of its effect and the skill of its masterly execution. The crown of St. Stephen (Fig. 203), carefully preserved in the castle at Ofen (Buda), is a specimen of the work in question. To all appearances, the golden hoop

Fig. 203. Crown of St. Stephen. At Ofen (Buda).

Early Christian Art. — Northern Nations. 403

at the base, with the battlement ornaments above, form that part which was sent to Hungary in 1075 as a gift from the Byzantine emperor, Michael Ducas ; while the perhaps still more ancient cross-shaped bow, with the rest of the upper portion, was doubtless a later addition. The diadem is a most superb piece of workmanship, in true Byzantine style, set with sapphires alternating with enamelled decorations. The crown, supposed to have been Charlemagne's, in the imperial treasure-chamber at Vienna, is a similar production of Byzan- tine workmanship.

In the case of the Northern nations, however, this Byzantine art is connected with an original, individual decorative style, the earliest examples of which we find in the many bronze, gold, and silver utensils and ornaments discovered in Germanic and Celtic tombs. A great quantity of such objects have been found in Germany, Switzerland, England, and the Scandinavian North, which must be assigned to that epoch extending from the downfall of the Roman power to the Carlovingian age. We have already met with a suggestion of this Northern ten- dency in art in the Irish illuminations, though it is true that these furnish a most extreme and one-sided illustration. Never- theless, the same order of taste, even apart from these exag- gerations, was common to all the Northern nations, — to the Germans as well as the Celts, — and called forth productions in the field of artistic handicrafts to which we cannot deny a certain ornate fascination and the merit of original conception. This style is particularly well exemplified in the personal ornaments — diadems, necklaces, and bracelets — which it pro- duced, especially in the large pins {fibulcE) used for fastening the mantle upon the breast or shoulder, and in the various brooches and belt-clasps. Their shapes are generally imitated from Roman models ; but, in ornamentation, a style predomi- nates that is so far a departure from the antique as to be almost the opposite of it. While the antique aims at a fine plastic development, adapted to a massive sculptured decoration, in


History of Art.

imitation of natural objects, — such as leaves, flowers, and figures, — these Germanic ornaments incline to a form with many flat surfaces, adapted for decoration of a more picturesque character. Every variety of geometrical figure, curves, points, zig-zags, circles, and spirals (Fig. 204, c, d), was brought into

Fig. 204. German Pins and Brooches.

play for this purpose ; though most frequent use was made of those twistings and windings of scroll-like ornamentation which play so conspicuous a part in the Irish manuscripts.^ The

[1 In Demmin's Encyclop6die des Beaux-Arts Plastiques, pp. 1293, 1294, will be found many additional figures of Scandinavian ornaments, and also many cuts of the ornaments of other ancient peoples. In the beautiful and useful work of Racinet, Le Costume Historique, will be found a page of illustrations of Celtic ornaments.]

Early Christian Art. — Northern Nations. 405

primitive craft of plaiting ribbons or thongs is evidently the origin of this design ; though its surface-character, strictly ad- hered to, shows that the style was first introduced into the realm of art through wood-carving. The speculative character of the Northern nations, their delight in any thing fantastic, their pre- dilection for combinations which should give expression to their subjective mood and disposition, evidently gave rise to this tendency, with its capacity for infinite variation, leaving the inventive genius the utmost liberty ; while the realm of natural organism, on the other hand, restrains the creative faculty by its fixed laws. When snakes and birds, heads of men or animals, are occasionally brought in, it is done in a fantastically capri- cious way, as an altogether subordinate portion of the whole.

The technical skill and the traditions of Byzantine art began to be employed upon this ornamental style as the Northern nations attained a certain capacity for culture, and came into closer contact with the ancient civilizations, especially as repre- sented by Byzantium. Whether Byzantine artists endeavored to assimilate this Northern taste, or Northern goldsmiths appropriated the Byzantine technical methods, amalgamating them with their native ideas of form, the fact remains, that in many different places, from the Rhenish provinces, deep into the steppes of Hungary and Roumania, ample and most certain proofs have been found that this combination did take place. They offer a visible commentary upon the accounts of contem- poraneous writers, who could not say enough of the absorbing passion for gold, costly raiment, and barbaric pomp. The orna- ments of the Frank king Childeric (died 481), found in his grave at Tournay, are of this description ; and so are the Merovingian golden ornaments of Wienwerd, now in the Museum at Leyden ; the treasure of Gourdon, which probably belonged to the Bur- gundian monarch Sigismund, now in the Museum of the Louvre; and, above all, the magnificent treasures of Guarrazar, near Toledo, which have also found their way to Paris. ^ The prin-

[1 This treasure consists of nine magnificent crowns, which are in the Cluny Museum, and

4o6 History of Art.

cipal pieces in the last-named collection are several golden crowns, designed to be suspended over the altars, one of which bears the inscribed name of Receswinth, King of the Visigoths (died 672). Some recently-discovered treasures in more easterly provinces fairly rival these Western remains, displaying the same decorative motive, — the whimsical contortion of lines, the heads of birds and snakes, — combined with the use of colored glass, and with precious stones. As specimens, we may name the ornaments in the Museum at Pesth, discovered on the Puszta Bakod, and those dug up some time since at Petreosa in Wallachia, in the Museum of Bucharest.

That there was no lack of native workers in gold, capable of producing all these splendid objects, is evident from the history of St. Eligius, who, in the seventh history, served the kings Dagobert and Clotaire by his artistic labors; and whose vir- tues not only raised him to the rank of a bishop, but made a saint of him as well. Since he is said to have made a golden seat for the first-named king, the conclusion has been arrived at, without any further foundation, that the chair preserved in the Louvre — originally from the Abbey of St. Denis, and de- scribed, according to an old tradition, as the throne of Dagobert — is the very one that came from the hands of St. Eligius. How- ever that may be, this exquisite piece of bronze (Fig. 205) is an evidence of the artistic skill of the period, and at the same time of the still vital influence exercised by classic ideas ; for

will be found described in the catalogue of the museum. Edition 1868, pp. 350-337. They are rudely figured in Demmin's Encyclopedic des Beaux-Arts Plastiques. Troisieme partie, p. 1295. These crowns were discovered in 1858 by a French officer resident in Spain, in making some excavations on his farm, la Fuente de Guarrazar. The first discovery was of fourteen sm^ill crowns of gold filigree, which were taken to Madrid, and presented to the mint of that city, where they were immediately melted down. Later researches in the same year brought to light eight more crowns ; in i860 a ninth was found; and these, being brought to Paris, were purchased by the government. In 1861 a tenth crown was discovered in the same place; but it was not in good condition. The peasant who found it presented it to the Queen of Spain. The weight of these crowns is considerable ; and they are set with fine pearls, Oriental sap- phires, and other precious stones. In the largest of these crowns, that of the Gothic king Receswinth, there are no less than sixty-six sapphires, of which thirty are exceptionally large. The pearls are also of large size, and only a few have become discolored by time.]

Early Christian Art. — Carlovingian Era. 407

the shape of the folding-stool, and the noble modelling of the whole, especially the feet formed like panthers' heads, follow ancient tradition, while the only original motive is found in the ornamentation of the back and arms.

Another production, bringing before us the metal work of the Carlovingian epoch, is still more remarkable. This is the chalice belonging to the cloister at Kremsmiinster in Upper


j^xj. •^" y.^>§;#.^##;%#|

Fig. 205. TheThroneof Dagobert. Louvre, a. Front-View of one-half the Throne, b. Side-View.

Bavaria, with an inscription representing it as a gift of Duke Tassilo, who, as he was deposed in 788, must have founded the monastery before that date. The chalice is of copper, with inlaid work of silver niello. At the foot are the half- figures of four saints, while on the upper portion Christ and the evangelists appear ; all the intermediate spaces being filled in with line-patterns and intricate scroll-work, while fantastic images of dragons decorate the upper rim (Fig. 206). This


History of Art.

style of ornament, as well as the barbaric crudeness of the fig- ures, betrays the hand of a native artist, affected by the artistic influence of the Irish monks, just then potent in Southern Ger- many. The Lombard master, who, somewhat later, executed

the altar-covering for Sant' Ambrogio in Milan, al- ready mentioned, was more moderate, and more in accord with antique tra- ditions. But even he de- lights to make use of the Germanic scroll and braid- ed decorations in the or- namental setting of his work, — a new proof of the still-existing strife be- tween ancient methods and the Germanic tendency of idea, an artistic mean be- tween them not having yet been discovered.

If we survey early Chris- tian art as a whole, it cannot be denied, that, upheld by a fresh inspira- tion, it starts vigorously on its course, creates grand fundamental forms, and produces a new world of ideal subjects, but, losing its force too soon, degenerates alike in spirit and performance, and at last fin- ishes its allotted term, partly in mere dry formality, and partly in savage crudeness. This phenomenon, unfortunate as it may seem to us, was, nevertheless, both necessary and salu- tary. The civilized nations of the ancient world had exhausted themselves ; and it was out of the question for them, even under the inspiration of a new religious idea, to shape out a radically

Kig. 206. Tassilo's Goblet. Kremsmiinster.

Note. — Niello - Work. 409

fresh life. Yet they were able to produce, as mighty types for all future time, a plan for churches suited to ritual worship, and countless plastic and artistic forms ; and that they were able to do this with the means still offered by ancient art is perhaps the most striking proof of its exhaustless vitality. Herein, however, lay the limits of their capacity.

The Germanic peoples had developed too little, as yet, to be able to cast a decisive weight into the scale of artistic progress. Even in political life they fell back upon reminiscences of the Roman ages, as is evident from Charlemagne's restoration of the empire of the Caesars : how much greater reason that they should have succumbed in art to the preponderating influence of ancient tradition in its early Christian mould and setting ! And, even in cases where we notice a first influx of the pe- culiarly Germanic artistic spirit, it was still too unschooled, too fantastically lawless, to rise to any noble and thoroughly con- sistent creations. To satisfy the spiritual needs of an inde- pendent artistic system, an epoch of a different character was needed, — one in which the rule of ancient civilization should exercise a less universal influence, and in which the independ- ent strength of the Germanic races should make itself felt in new political relations. It is the great merit of early Christian art, that it established, for that later period, those great funda- mental laws out of which was to be developed a creative system of inexhaustible richness and variety.

[Note. — Probably, by the expression " Silberniellen," which we have translated "silver niello,' p. 407, we are to understand damascening in silver, since the term n'lello is, I be- lieve, strictly limited to a design engraved on metal in lines which afterward were filled up with some substance (sulphate of silver being generally employed) which caused the pattern to show in black upon a lighter ground. For this purpose, silver was usually chosen. The word niello is an Italian corruption of the Latin nigellum, black. Church-plate, and personal orna- ments, clasps, sword-hilts, buttons, and the like, were often ornamented with nielli. A familiar illustration of niello-work may be found in our door-plates, where the name is inscribed in black on silver. The old niello-work was not cut so deep as these ; but the process was identical. Of the connection of niello-work with the art of engraving, see Mrs. Jameson's Memoirs of the Early Italian Painters, and Prints from Nielli, with Descriptions by G. W. Reid. London : Autotype Co., 1869.]




Monotheism was to be presented to the Orient in a different form from that in which it was introduced into Christendom. It is true that the East had not been absolutely closed to the Christian doctrine ; but numerous quarrels and heresies had soon disfigured its original form, and it was reserved for Mo- hammed to spread the belief in a single God among Oriental peoples.

From time immemorial, the faith of Abraham had reigned supreme in the fatherland ; and the Arabs traced their descent from the original father of the Israelites, while their language, too, belonged to the Semitic group. But a more rude idolatry, and side by side with it the Chaldean worship of the heavenly bodies, had become generally prevalent ; and even believers in the Mosaic and Christian doctrine were not wanting. In reli- gion, as well as in other respects, the people of Arabia were split up into many, and, for the most part, hostile races, that wasted their strength in the most bitter feuds. Then it was that Mohammed, with his fiery enthusiasm, fanned the pure ancient faith of his race into a flame, and, by strength of con- viction and the power of the sword, spread it under the form of a new doctrine throughout Arabia.

The character of the country and of its inhabitants was favor- able to such an enterprise. A rocky, barren plateau, without rivers and without maritime facilities, Arabia lies away from 410

Mohammedan Art. — The People. 4 1 1

the ocean, although surrounded on three sides by arms of the sea. Thus it was, that the spirit of its people was not drawn away from home by the pursuit of navigation, but turned naturally to the roving life of the nomad. In the boundless dreariness of the desert, under a brilliant and cloudless firma- ment, in which glowed both the constellations of the northern and the southern hemisphere, a type of mind was developed equally capable of fantastic enthusiasm, and keen, acute meta- physical speculation. Just as no definite lines mark the horizon of the son of the desert, and no varied configuration of the ground and no rich vegetable world offer a resting-spot for his gaze, the contemplation of which would lead him to establish any laws of form ; so, too, his spiritual eye sweeps over a bound- less realm, his fantasy dwells on what is formless and limitless, wandering restlessly from one point of view to another without finding that repose which is necessary to the creation of lasting, definite figures.

In this lies an intimate relationship to the character of the Israelite race ; in this the origin of that abstract monotheism which was common to both nations from the earliest times, and of that cult without pictorial symbols that became firmly established among them both. That primitive black stone in Mecca — which tradition connects with Adam, and which the Arabs honored, long before the time of Mohammed, in the holy sanctuary of the Caaba — was an expression of this worship that renounced pictures ; and although, in the course of time, the large number of three hundred figures of idols had gathered about it, the worship of these was, after all, merely a relapse of the surrounding heathen tribes into polytheism, just as the Israelites had also succumbed to a similar temptation. But that the belief in the God of Abraham still continued to live in Arabia in the hearts of many, although it had become mixed with foreign and even Christian elements, only proves more decidedly how necessary a monotheistic religion was to this people.

4 1 2 History of Art.

In the doctrine of Mohammed that religion received more definite and intelligible shape, and exhibited in its essentials, and especially in regard to the belief in a resurrection and an immortal life, a foundation closely allied to that of Christianity ; but in its expression it was adapted to the life of the Orient, at the same time more abstract and more sensual than that of the West. The former characteristic was satisfied by the abso- lute unity of the Divine Being ; the latter by the baleful accep- tation of the fatalistic principle, and by a thoroughly sensual conception of the other world. Notwithstanding the fact that a moral direction is not wanting to Islamism, and that bravery, generosity, hospitality, truth, and magnanimity are inculcated in every Moslem, this singular mixture in the religion of Mo- hammed makes it lack that higher moral consecration which is inherent in the teachings of Christ. Quite in accordance with this was the manner in which the prophet spread his belief by calling to his aid not only peaceful propagandism, but fire and sword, and by exciting the fanaticism of his followers to a bloody religious war. Once carried away by the fiery excite- ment of religious ecstasy, and tempted by the immeasurable treasures of the empires which were to be conquered, the Arabs burst like a destroying storm upon the decrepit Byzan- tine powers, as well as upon the effete Oriental empires ; and so irresistible was this attack, that at the death of Omar, the second successor of the prophet (in the year 644), thirty-four years after the first appearance of Mohammed, the possessions of Islam stretched from the Indian Ocean to the Caucasus, and comprised not only Arabia, Syria, and Palestine, but also the great empire of the Persians, Egypt, and the northern coast of Africa. And scarcely a hundred years had passed since the first weak beginnings of Mohammedanism, when it had con- quered, besides, the huge region of India as far as the Ganges on the east, and the whole of North Africa, Sicily, and Spain upon the west.

When the Arabs overflowed the extensive region, in parts of

Mohammedan Art. 413

which a mighty and peculiar civilization had already erected its magnificent monuments, they were still a simple, primitive people, half warlike and half nomadic, and lacking in all higher education. It is, therefore, no wonder that they often yielded to the influence of foreign culture ; and thus this influence was especially supreme in all that regarded art. They themselves no more possessed a national art of their own than did the Israelites, and for the same reason. As a consequence of this, they often made use of Christian churches for their worship, or employed architects from the court of Byzantium to build their mosques. But they refrained, in disgust, from all pictorial rep- resentations ; and a law of Mohammed forbade their use with no less severity than the tables of the Mosaic law had done. It was not alone the fear of relapsing into heathen worship that occasioned this prohibition ; but it was, like their whole inar- tistic religious system, a result of the abstract bent of mind of the Arabs, as well as of the incapacity of their measureless wandering fantasy, to crystallize into a plastic conception. These sharp contrasts in the character of the Arabs created similar contrasts in their spiritual life. Burning sensuality and severe asceticism, passionate love of action and profound leth- argy, follow closely one upon the other. These qualities made them especially inclined to poetical contemplation ; and indeed we find poetical contests among them even in the earliest times, at which their poets related to the assembled people the deeds and the fame of their race ; while the poems victorious in these competitions were worked on silk, and hung up in the Caaba.

The peculiar bent of mind of the Arabs had, on the other hand, no conspicuous capacity for plastic art. In consequence of the prohibition of pictures, all artistic enterprise was con- fined to architecture. But, in respect to this, they adopted, for the most part, the style which they found already existing in their conquered territories : in India and Egypt especially, the mighty influence of the stupendous monuments of an ancient

4 1 4 History of Art.

civilization can be recognized. Other influences proceeded from Christian, and especially from Byzantine art. In the same way as their religion, their style of architecture was a mixture of different elements; and just as the world of their fancy was a restlessly moving and unlimited one, so is their architecture full of fluctuation and arbitrary whim, as if it were altogether with- out laws. That sharply-defined type is lacking which can only be produced when the creative faculty, aided by carefully-trained study, becomes crystallized in definite forms. Instead of this, the architecture of the Arabs exhibits exactly the same combi- nation of sharp contrasts which belong to their intellectual nature, — bald, dry exteriors with fantastic and over-ornament- ed interiors, monotonous, dreary masses, and an enchantingly variegated, brilliant ornamentation, a death-like rigidity, and an inexhaustibly rich life.


The development of Mohammedan architecture had its origin in religious needs, which corresponded, in many respects, to those of Christianity. A spacious hall {viiJirab) for prayers, with a separate holy place (the kiblah) where the Koran is kept, is a first requisite of every mosque. Connected with this is a large court, with a fountain for the ablutions of the pilgrims. Slim, tower-shaped minarets, from whose tops the muezzin summons the faithful to prayer, are also indispensable ; and in many cases, moreover, a mausoleum of the founder is joined to the rest of the building. But Mohammedan art has never succeeded in developing from these first principles any universal and definite model for its houses of worship. If the most im- portant requisites of a culture are satisfied, if, especially, the general direction of the hall of prayer only points towards holy Mecca, great freedom is allowed in the further development of the plan. In spite of this, however, it is possible to reduce the forms of mosques to two types, — either those having a large and almost square court, surrounded by corridors that have a

Mohammedan Art. — Architecture.


H I ' « ' \"r> I TTi ■ I ■ Tf ■ ' P li

^^7\ i i * » « i r ; 1 1 r ; 'i !i ! i: ! ii !■ ■« I ! i « ii ? I f » 1 1 '■ « 5 ii » ¥ ii i; ?.'

i i i ? i fill tl til f I I'll' I

greater depth on the side toward the interior sanctuary, like the Mosque of Amru at ancient Cairo (Fig. 207) ; or those built according to the Byzantine model, round a central dome, like that at Tabriz (Fig. 208).^ No new con- structive system is exhibited in the artistic execution of these ground- rules, it is true, but rather a series of new details. The artistic sense of the Arabs was not constant, not earnest enough, to benefit architect- ure much in constructive sense ; while the very mobility of their fancy pig. 207. Mosque of Amru in oid Cairo. caused them to add many original

devices to architectural tradition. In the halls and arcades demanded by the mosques, a multifarious style of column and pier architecture was employed ; but the connection was sel- dom made by semicircular arches. Bolder and more complicated forms were more acceptable to their restless fancy ; and thus arose the pointed arch, consisting of two united segments of a circle, permitting either a sharply-taper- ing form, or a more extended breadth of span. Another form was the horse- shoe arch (Fig. 209), which consists of a segment of a circle extending beyond the semicircle, thus gaining in likeness and fantastic spirit. Finally, we have the wedge-shaped arch, rising first in the form of a semicircle, and ending in a point. The partiality of the Orient for rich, flow- ing, luxuriantly swelling lines, shows itself in all these forms.

Fig. 208. Mosque at Tabriz.

[1 See Harriet Martineau's description of the interior of a mosque : Eastern Life, Present and Past, vol. ii. pp. 121-125. London, 1848. She quotes Milne's beautiful poem. The Mosque.]


History of Art.

In covering their structures, they either followed the system of wooden roofs that prevailed in the primitive Christian basilica, or the Byzantine system of domes. Domes were employed in

connected rows to cover arcades and extensive halls, as well as over the principal room, the fountain in the court, or the tomb of the founder. In all these cases, they follow the con- struction made use of by the Byzantines ; and only the form of the exterior, when it is so placed as to be especially con- spicuous, has a sharply-tapering, or frequently an undulating, con- vex outline, which, agreeing with the lines of the arch, is a new evidence of the peculiar fantastic tendency of the Oriental mind.

Together with these plain, tra- ditional styles of roofing, there sprang up among the Arabs at a very early date a form of vaulting that belongs exclusively to them, and that expresses their character better than any other detail. It has its origin in a group of separate vaulted niches, that, like consoles ranged in tiers, combine to form a richly-proportioned and brilliant whole, not unlike the cells of bees or a stalactite grotto (Fig. 210). They were employed in various ways, especially to fill out the pendentives of the domes, and to afford a pleasing tran- sition from a plain wall to a vaulted one, or from a square to a circle ; but often the whole sides of arches, and even entire ceilings and domes, consist of these exquisitely fanciful stalac- tite vaultings. They have no great constructive value, being generally made of light material, like plaster and stucco ; but

Fig. 209. Arch at Tarragona.

Mohammedan Architecture. — Ornamentation. 417

their decorative effect, heightened by a variegated wealth of color and by gilding, is all the greater on this account. They are, however, seen to advantage in connection with the entire decorative system of Mohammedan buildings ; and it is in this system that the peculiar life, the unsurpassed beauty, of the Mohammedan style consists.

Fig. 210. Pendentives in the Kiiba at Palermo.

The ornamentation of the Arabs does not, as in antique art, form a part of the development of the real architectural frame- work, but tends to expend itself upon the decoration of the surface only. The walls are covered with an inexhaustible wealth of charming forms, of variegated patterns ; so that one is reminded of the gorgeous carpets of the Orient and of the light tents of the nomadic wanderers. The imagination of the Arab, however, is too mobile and superficial to permit him to conceive and to complete in detail actual material figures, whether taken from the animal or the vegetable kingdom. Every separate form serves him rather as a transition to another, as only a part of his scheme of ornament, which, in restless and ever-varying combinations with similar or dis- similar forms, succeeds in producing that fantastic maze of forms which is called, from its discoverers, arabesque. The forms of plants and animals are scattered through it, treated.


History of Art.

as a rule, in a conventional and fantastic manner, with all sorts of mazy lines and richly-intermingling geometrical figures (Fig. 21 1). One figure melts into the other: there is that perpetual flight and pursuit, jostling and turmoil of forms, in which the restless fancy and the speculative brain of the race take such delight. Gilding and gorgeous colors, generally in strong, well- defined tints, accompany these caprices of form ; their tapes- try-like regularity and repetition giving the eye, as it were, a


Fig. 2 11. Portal at Iconium.

consciousness of repose. This rich system of ornamentation is so arranged, in combination with the general features of the structure, as to follow the lines of the arches ; so that the frieze- like stripes formed by the decorations give a frame and border to the arched openings, while sometimes the whole surface of a wall is surrounded by such intertwisted patterns. The separate openings in the arches also have rectangular borders of richly-

Mohammedan Architecture. — Its Monuments. 419

designed arabesques ; so that, although no severe constructive law is apparent, there is a kind of system, a certain graceful proportion, that maintains law and order in this bright play of ornament. All the wall-surfaces, the intrados of the arches, the borders of the separate arches in the arcades, and the frame that encloses them (see Fig. 211), are covered with this brilliant decoration ; and among them are scattered numerous passages from the Koran and the poets in the plain, sharply- defined Kufic character, or the fantastic letters of the later Arabic running-hand, so arranged as to form friezes and frames, and to delight the eye as well as to satisfy the contempla- tive mind. All this richness adorns the interior only. The out- side is generally treated with severe simplicity ; so that a sharp contrast is apparent also in this matter. Yet the architecture of Islam knows how to produce a vigorous artistic effect, when this is necessary, even in exteriors, by means of lofty niches at the sides of the portals, which are often richly ornamented by fantastically-shaped finials, and occasionally by open cor- ridors or stately domes.


All that has been preserved of the most ancient monuments of Arabian architecture in Palestine and Syria gives evidence of the uncertain and dependent condition of this still youthful art. Thus the Caaba at Mecca is thoroughly primitive, and built after an entirely archaic fashion ; while the Mosque El Aksa, on the Mountain of the Temple at Jerusalem, which originally had five and afterwards seven naves, imitates in its essential features the model of Christian basilicas, although with the addition of a dome. And this is likewise the case with the great Mosque of Caliph Walid at Damascus, which is con- sidered an imitation of the former. The so-called Mosque of Omar — that is to say, the Sachra-Mosque at Jerusalem, built

420 History of Art.

by the Caliph Abdelmelek, in the year 688, on the site of Solo- mon's Temple — must be regarded as one of the most important works of this early period, although there are some who look upon it as a Byzantine production.^ It seems to be, at least, possible to detect Byzantine influence in its model and con- struction. Around the celebrated rock with the "noble cave" there extends a rotunda sixty-six feet in diameter, the (modern) wooden dome of which, together with the upper walls, is sup- ported by twelve Corinthian columns, and four piers placed between them. A broad octagonal corridor, divided into two naves by an octagonal wall resting upon eight piers and sixteen columns, encloses the interior structure. These outer rows of supports, the columns of which are surmounted by imposts, and which are connected with the piers by architraves, and above these, again, by supporting arches, betray a pronounced Byzantine style.^ A gorgeous mosaic decoration, a part of which belongs to the time when the building was erected, adorns the interior.

It was in Egypt that the art of the Arabs first crystallized into a settled and clearly-defined system, and showed really imposing results.^ Here, in the presence of the deep impressive- ness and solidity of the works of the Pharaohs, Mohammedan architecture attained a surprising greatness. A massive struc- ture of squared stone, with heavy piers, is the general form of these remains, in which the clear, well-defined form of the pointed arch is seen for the first time. A number of magnifi- cent structures sprang up here, and made Cairo, the new capital of the country, one of the handsomest cities of the empire. The

1 F. W. Unger: Die Bauten Constantins am heiligen Grabe. Ciottingen, 1S63. Compare, on the other hand, Neue architectonischen Studien, &c., in Palastina, by Prof. Sepp. Wiirz- burg, 1867. Lastly, F. Adler: Der Felsendom, &c. Berlin, 1873. The author, in opposi- tion to these investigators, maintains the Arabian origin of the building.

[■- In default of an illustration, the reader who wishes to comprehend this description is referred to Fergusson's Hand-Book of Architecture, vol. i. p. 385, fig. 312. View in thp Mosque el Aksah at Jerusalem.]

3 Denkmaler der Kunst, pi. 39. Also P. Coste : Architecture Arabe on Monumens de Caire. Fol. Paris, 1S37-39. Girault de Prangey : Monumens Arabes d'Egypte Fol. Paris, 1846.

Mohammedan Architecture. — Mosqtie of Amru. 42 1

so-called Kilometer, a small monument on an island near ancient Cairo, is an important study in this connection, for the reason that the niches in its walls give the first actual evidence of the form of the pomted arch, and are undoubtedly one of the first examples of it, whether they date from the erection of the pillar in the year 719, or from a restoration made in 821. Among the mosques which at this early period followed the simple ground-plan of a court surrounded by halls, one of the most important is that of Amru, which was founded immedi- ately after the conquest of the country (in the year 643), and which was considerably enlarged in the succeeding period. About a quadrangular court, the sides of which are nearly two hundred and forty-five feet long, and in the middle of which there is a fountain (Fig. 207), stretches a corridor, the columns of which are arranged on the front, in a single row, on the left in four, and on the right in three ; while in the Hall of Prayer they stand in six rows. They are all taken from ancient Roman works, and differed in form and height, though the latter is now made uniform by means of bases. That a greater height may be attained, tall cubical tops are set upon the capitals ; and from them rise the arches of the arcades, horseshoe-shaped, but pointed at the summit (Fig. 212). The stability of the col- umns is secured by wooden braces stretching from one to

the other. Since we find in this case ancient architectural materials employed as we have seen it in the primitive Chris- tian basilicas, we can but consider the Mosque of Ibn-Tulum, of the year 885, a specimen of greater importance ; for in the latter we find a complete example of a new and original archi- tectural form in the building of a huge pier-structure, with columns gracefully built into the corners, and richly-ornamented arches. The model of the whole building corresponds to that

Fig. 212. Arcades of the Mosque Amru.


History of Art.

of the one mentioned above, as is shown by Fig. 213, which gives a view of the court surrounded by arcades, of the powerful arches, the rich parapet-work on the tops of the walls, the minaret rising in several tiers, with its spiral outside stairway, and of the solid monumental form of the dome.

Fig. 213. From the Mosque Ibn-Tulum.

The magnificent mausoleums of the caliphs near Cairo date from the eleventh century, and are stately domes of a simple model resting on square foundations. A delicate parapet bor- ders the quadrangular wall, from which begins, in a series of fantastic forms, the transition to the overarching rounded dome. A lofty portal, richly ornamented with stalactite vaulting, forms, the entrance. As works of a later period, we may mention the Mosque of Barkauk, of the year 1149, whose arcades are crowned with domes ; the exceedingly magnificent Mosque of Hassan, of the fourteenth century ; and finally the Mosque El Moyed, of the fifteenth century, in which the spacious halls are

Mohammedan Architecture. — Sicily.


supported by columns, and the ceilings and walls are brilliantly decorated.

The Arabs forced their way into Sicily ^ as early as the year 827, and there founded a civilization, which, for nearly three centuries, steadily continued to increase in splendor. The few remains, however, which have survived the storms of ages, can- not even be traced back to the time of the Arab supremacy, although their character would indicate that they belonged to that period. The most important relic of the kind is the Zisa, a villa situated in the neighborhood of Palermo. In spite of modern changes, it is impossible to mistake the expression of Arabian architectural spirit in the arrangement of the ground- plan (Fig. 214), and in the general character of the whole. Masses of bare and unbroken wall rise up to a height of about eighty-eight feet. Pa- vilions project like bal- conies from the two shorter sides ; while in the middle of the fa- cade, which is a hun- dred and twelve feet

long, there is a lofty portal bordered by double pillars. It leads to a vestibule somewhat resembling a corridor, and from this to a quadrangular saloon provided with niches and a fountain, and having a ceiling vaulted in the form_ of a cross. Although it has been for the greater part destroyed and afterwards restored, this room — with its stalactite vault- ing, its mosaic frieze, the rich panelling of the walls, and its marble columns let in at the corners and at the sides of the portal, evidently bearing a close resemblance to the method used in the Mosque of Ibn-Tulum — gives evidence of the

Fig. 214. Ground-Plan of the Zisa.

1 Gaily Knight : Saracenic and Norman Remains in Sicily. London. Folio. No date. Hittorf et Zanth : Architecture Moderne de la Sicile. Folio. Paris, 1835.

424 History of Art.

former charm of its arrangement, which is heightened in its artistic attractiveness by the soft murmur of the fountain and by the luxuriance of the surrounding country, fair as the garden of Paradise. The Villa Kuba, also situated near Paler- mo, is a smaller building of a similar kind. We give an example of the ornamentation of this building in Fig. 210. According to its Moorish inscription, however, it only dates back to the time of the Normans, and was built by King William II.


Mohammedan art nowhere exhibits so noble and so refined a splendor, and so consistent a development, as in the Pyrenean peninsula.^ The conquest of the country took place as early as the beginning of the eighth century ; and until the fall of Gra- nada in the year 1492, a period of over seven hundred years, it remained in uninterrupted possession of the Moors, who founded there an independent kingdom under Abderrhaman. The prox- imity of the Christian Occident, and the constant intercourse, both warlike and peaceful, with the Christian knights, gave a strong infusion of Occidental spirit to Moorish life, and at the same time brought about a more logical process of development than Arabian art had ever before passed through. A noble, genial, and high-hearted spirit characterized the epoch of Moor- ish supremacy in Spain, and found its expression in chivalry, in the high cultivation of the country, in science, in poetry, and in art. Architecture shared to the full in these notable advan- tages.

Soon after the conquest of the country, Abderrhaman, who came to the throne in 786, built in Cordova, the capital city of Moorish Spain, a magnificent mosque, which he resolved should

1 Denk. d. K., pi. 38. G. de Pranjey : Essai surl'.'\rch. des Arabes en Espagne, en Sicile, etc. Paris, 1841. Al. de Laborde : Voyage Pitt, et Hist, de I'Espagne. 2d ed. 4 vols. With 282 illustrations. Paris, 1807-20. Villa-Amil : Espafia artistica y monumental. Paris, 1842. Caveda : Ensayo sobre los diversos Generos de Arquitectura en Espaiia. Svo. Madrid, 1848. German trans. Ed. by F. Kiigler. Stuttgart, 1858. See also the Monumentos arquitectdni- cos di Espaiia. Madrid.

Mohammedan Architecture. — Mosque at Cordova. 425

equal the celebrated sanctuaries of Jerusalem and Damascus (Fig. 215). It consisted of a great hall, having a depth of eleven rows of columns, and a central nave somewhat broader than the others. All these naves opened on an enclosed court, which measured about a third of the entire length. In the tenth cen- tury, eight more naves were added ; so that the whole breadth then comprised nineteen, and the ground-plan of the building measured five hundred and sixty feet in length by four hundred in width. Notwithstanding these vast dimensions, the height of the naves, which are about twenty feet broad, is only about thirty feet ; and even this height is only made possible by an

■ <%





^ ■r\.f7p?y7^.^'^-.-j.',;,;.'Y;v?jjJt'V^

Fig. 215. Ground-Plan of the Mosque at Cordova.

exceedingly ingenious and artistic construction. As the antique columns used in the work were only about ten feet long, they were spanned over by horseshoe-arches ; and at the same time a high pier was erected on each of the broad imposts which sur- mounted the capitals in the Byzantine fashion. This, in its turn, was connected with its neighbor by a second arch ; while the wall which rested on it served as a support to the wooden ceilins: then in use. In this skilful manner the rows of columns were fastened together without the use of wooden braces, and


Hisiojy of Art,

at the same time a greater height was attained for the build- ing.

The forms of this construction are much more richly developed in the room at the end of the central nave, the so-called chapel " Villa Viciosa," which is considerably higher, and crowned by a dome. Here the arches intertwine still more gracefully, and are fantastically formed of a scallop-like series of separate seg- ments of circles, built of white stone and red brick alternating, — a design which, in connection with the magnificent ornamen- tation of the walls, the variegated mosaics, and the rich gilding, produces a most brilliant effect. At the back rises the little

Fig. 216. Section of tlie Mosque of Cordova.

octagonal kiblah, the dome of which is peculiarly curved like a shell, and is carved from a single block of marble (Fig. 216). These splendidly-executed parts belong to a later period of architecture, — to the tenth and eleventh centuries. Neverthe- less, their details show a decided Byzantine influence ; and in like manner the columns of the whole extensive building are copied partly from the antique, and partly from the Byzantine treatment of the antique. Although the mosque was turned into a Christian cathedral after the capture of the city, and must have undergone a considerable transformation, it re- tains, in all important respects, its original characteristics, — a

Mohammedan Architecture. — The Giralda. 427

certain severe solemnity and mystic dignity, which receive an enchantingly picturesque and fantastic charm from the won- derfully rich perspective effect of the eight hundred and fifty columns with their double and triple tiers of arches. The out- side, on the other hand, is here, as usual, without ornamentation, cold and bare, only relieved by powerful buttresses, and crowned by a parapet.

The buildings of Seville, where a magnificent mosque was erected toward the end of the twelfth century, the remains of which are still preserved in the north-east part of the cathe- dral, belong to a second stage of architectural development. The so-called Giralda, the original minaret of the mosque, which, with the exception of a modern capital, is still in a state of preservation, is a still more important relic than the other portions (Fig. 217). Differing from the slim and graceful and generally round or polygonal shape that is customary in minarets, this building rises up in a heavy, quadrangular mass, and, with a breadth of forty-three feet, attains a height of a hundred and seventy- four feet, which is increased to two hun- dred and sixty by a modern top. The body of the masonry is composed of brick, and is divided into panels by perpendicu- lar and horizontal bars, the surfaces of the panels being exquisitely adorned with rich ornamental patterns worked in tiles. Extending upward from columned niches, these designs spread like a net over the whole surface, with a constant repetition of the same figure. In the centre panel there are windows, which are divided by pillars, supporting arches of the horseshoe pattern, and bor- dered by scallops.

The Moorish style, however, reached its highest state of per-

Fig. 217. Portion of the Giralda at Seville.


History of Art.

fection in the building which shed lustre on the brilhant closing epoch of Mohammedan supremacy in the kingdom of Granada. Forced back by the advancing Christian arms to this last southern bulwark, the Moors seem to have once more put forth, in this narrow territory, their whole creative power : the spirit of their civilization seems to have once again burst into brilliant flame before its final extinction. The powerful fortress of the Alhambra,^ built on the precipitous rocks overlooking Granada,

Fig. 2iS. Ground-Plan of the AUianibra.

has towered above the town since about 1250; and the palace which is enclosed by it received its final form in the second half of the succeeding century. After the conquest, a great deal of it was destroyed ; and Charles V., in a true vandal spirit, re- moved a large part of the building in order to erect in its place a palace in the heavy renaissance style. That which has been spared, however, suffices to present to the imagination a picture

1 Goury and Owen Jones: Plans, Elevations, &c., of the Albambra. 3 vols. Folio. London, 1842. Girault de Prangey : Souvenirs da Grenade et de 1' Albambra. Paris, 1S37.

Mohammedan Architecture. — The AlJiambra. 429

of the most glorious epoch of a poetic and noble chivalry, and to seem like the realization of an enchanting Oriental fairy-tale. The buildings of the castle are grouped, according to the custom of Southern countries, and especially of the Orient, about two open courts, whose basin, fountains, corridors, and far-projecting roofs, afford coolness and shade. Entering from the side of the old chief entrance, which is now bordered by parts of the palace of King Charles (indicated in our plan. Fig. 218, by more lightly-traced lines), one finds himself in the Court of the Alberca, seventy feet broad, and a hundred and twenty- six feet long, which is bordered on the two shorter sides by a corridor. Opposite the entrance, on the north side, lies a vesti- bule, and behind it, in a massive, four-cornered tower, the Hall of the Ambassadors, which forms a square of thirty-four feet, extended on three sides by four deep window-niches in the walls, .which are more than nine feet in thickness. A rich stalactite vaulting forms a dome that rises to a height of fifty- eight feet. These parts were evidently devoted to ceremonial presentations and other public occasions. Very little of that part of the building which borders the Court of the Alberca, on the west side, is still preserved ; but the section on the east offers a much more rich and comprehensive picture. The central point in it is a second open court, somewhat smaller than the first ; it being sixty-one feet broad and a hundred and eight feet long, but surpassing the former in richness, finish, and brilliancy of ornamentation. It is also ornamented with fountains, es- pecially by one in the centre, — a huge shell of alabaster, which rests upon twelve lions of black marble, and which has given to the place the name of the " Court of Lions." Corridors with slim pillars extend around the court, and broaden, in the middle of the two shorter sides, into quadrangular, projecting pavilions, that also contain fountains. The columns are here placed in the most varied irregularity, — sometimes singly, sometimes in groups of two or even three, as if every severe architectural rule must give way to charming caprice. Proceeding easterly,

43 o History of Art.

one arrives in a corridor-like room, with five deep window- niches, — the Hall of Justice; while in the middle of the longer sides of the Court of Lions lies, on the north, the hall of the Two Sisters (so called from two great marble tiles in the pavement), and on the south a smaller hall, which takes its name from the assassination within its walls of the family of the Abencerages, murdered at the command of Boabdil. These rooms are the most beautiful and most elegant parts of the castle, and their walls and stalactite domes are covered over with an inexhaustible magnificence of divers-colored ornaments; the Hall of the Abencerages, moreover, being ingeniously con- nected with two adjoining cabinets by means of graceful arches supported by a slim central pillar. Conduits convey the water of the great fountain in all directions to smaller fountains, which complete the charm of luxurious case, and the dreamy, poetic spirit of the place. A row of bath-rooms, which are con- nected with the living-rooms, fills the corner between the Hall of the Two Sisters and the Court of the Alberca.

The artistic execution of this ground-plan is everywhere char- acterized by the greatest delicacy and grace. The seriousness of a fixed system is everywhere lost in an audacious lightness and ease which almost surpass the bounds of possibility. Thus the columns of marble shoot up like slender reeds, only con- nected, as it were, with the foundation by a slight ring; while even the capitals themselves have this same graceful, slight character. A number of rings encircle the lower part, which is merely a continuation of the shaft ; then the form expands on all sides, and forms a cubical top, which is covered with intertwining arabesques, lace-like tracery, leaves, or stalactites. The whole is terminated at the top by a projecting neck under a slab, crowned by a massive impost, the sides of which also exhibit a rich treasure of ornamentation. Where two columns are connected, as in our example (Fig. 219), they have an im- post in common. It can be seen at a glance how diametrically this form of columns differs from all antique tradition ; how it

Mohammedan Architecture. — The Alhambra. 43 1







Stands out as an original product of the perfection of Moorish style. From the columns rises perpendicularly a massive pier, ending in a frieze that forms a frame, in which the arch appears merely as a necessary comple- ment. It rises with a graceful spring in a round or horseshoe- like shape, its sides and corners so enveloped with open-worked, filagree-like plaster ornaments, intertwining arabesques, scal- lops, and stalactites, that it ap- pears to the eye like a delicate web, sparkling gorgeously with a wealth of colors (Fig. 220).

To perfect a most charming system of decoration, there is as- sociated with all this rich move- ment of form an ornamentation of the walls, which may be said to stand alone in the splendor

of its harmony. The lower part consists of a dado of glazed tiles, about four feet in height, in simple, subdued colors.

Fig. 219. Capital from the Alliambra.


Fig. 220. Border of Arch. Alhambra.

The upper surfaces of the walls are separated by broad stripes, having golden inscriptions upon an azure ground, and are


History of Art.

marked off into separate panels, whose surfaces blaze with magnificent arabesques in gold, blue, and red. '* One willingly yields himself to the intoxicating influence of these apartments, rightly called fairy-like, and in doing so forgets the lack of architectural order. Every thing breathes the keenest enjoy- ment of a dreamy, poetic existence, such as can only have being under a Southern sun. Here we find soothing shade and refreshing coolness in fantastically decorated rooms ; and amid


Fig. 221. Portico o£ the Generalife.

the babbling of the fountains, the play of the sunlight through the open-work pattern of the arches, amid the odor of costly spices, the soul cannot but be lulled into a romantic, shadowy land of dreams."

The Villa Generalife, built upon an opposite cliff, and distin- guished for its attractive porticos, fountains, and gardens (Fig. 221), follows a similar model, and has an equally pleasing finish.

Mohatmncdan Architecture. — Turkey, Persia, &c. 433

The technical excellence of these buildings consists largely in the light but admirably-worked material of which they are composed. The body of the wall, which rests on columns, is composed of a kind of pise, — a mixture of pebbles, earth, and chalk : the vaulting and arches are of plaster and stucco laid over a light wooden framework, the ornaments being stamped upon fine plaster.

How liberal Moorish art had grown through close intercourse with the Christian Occident is especially shown in the varied and original artistic decorations of the Alhambra. It is true, the lions of the fountain are clumsy, crude examples of an uncultivated sense of form (which, for that matter, is equally apparent in the Christian monuments of the same time) ; but the paintings on parchments, on the vaulting of the Hall of Justice, appear to be much more important, being partly rep- resentations of Moorish rulers, partly scenes of chivalry that show us the Moors and Christians in various situations, full of naive attractiveness, closely resembling contemporary works of Florentine masters, and probably painted by foreign artists.


The Oriental empires were likewise conquered by Moham- medanism at an early period ; yet their most gorgeous monu- ments represent the last epoch of an independent Mohammedan art, and mark the close of a civilization as rich as it was varied.

The edifices that sprang up in Asia Minor ^ under the reign of the Seldschucks, from the latter part of the eleventh to the end of the thirteenth century, indicate a preparatory stage to that which was approaching. They show the influence of Byzan- tine, and especially of Armenian architectural works, from which they have borrowed the dome and the pointed stone roof. This relationship is also to be seen in the bareness of the walls. They have adopted the ornamental treatment, and

1 See Texier : L'Asie Mineure. 3 vols. Fol. Paris, 1839-49 ; and, by the same author, Description de I'Armenie. Paris, 1872.

434 History of Art.

even the spreading, wedge-shaped arch, from the Persians : but traces of antique art are also observable ; as, for instance, the Victories above the portals of the arches. The pointed arch appears as the most conspicuous form. The interior of these buildings gains a vivid and picturesque charm from its magnifi- cent covering of Persian porcelain tiles, and the outside after the fashion of later Byzantine art, from the use of many-colored stones. The ancient capital Iconium (Konieh) contains impor- tant remains of mosques, schools of learning, and so forth. Other remains are to be seen in Caesarea (Kaisarieh), in Nig- deh, Erzerum, and other places.

The monuments which were called into existence in these regions by the supremacy of the Osmans, after 1326, follow next in the process of development. They were admirably built of squared stone ; and the use of variegated material, a marked grace in the division of flat surfaces, and especially a deliberate acceptance of the fundamental idea of Byzantine art, are their architectural characteristics. The fourteenth cen- tury saw the most brilliant period of this style, and the reign of Murad I. (1360-89) was its most shining epoch. The green mosque of Nicaea (Isnik), with its tendency toward the Byzan- tine fundamental form, and the great mosque at Brussa, that goes back to the plan of a vaulted corridor, are to be classed among the most important of these structures.

With the capture of Constantinople, in the year 1493, a turn- ing-point occurred in architectural development.' The magnifi- cent Church of St. Sophia was turned into a mosque, offering in its gigantic-domed structure a model for other architectural works, to which Oriental architecture surrendered itself the more readily, because, even before this, the dome was a famil- iar form in the Orient, and because Byzantinism had, even in the earlier epochs of Arab art, acquired a great influence over

1 Denk. d. K., pi. 39. Ali-Bey (pseud.) : Voyages en Afriqiie et en Asie. 3 vols. Paris, 1814. Eng.tr. 2 vols. Lond. 1S16. J. von Hammer-Purgstall : Constantinopolis und der Bosporus. Pesth, 1818. F. Adler, in the Deutsche Bauzeitung, 1874, No. 17.

Mohammedan Architecture. — Co^istantinople. 435

the Mohammedan mosques. An imposing central structure, covered by a dome, becomes henceforth the model of these buildings in Turkey ; the slight, slender, needle-like, and pointed forms of the numerous minarets forming a striking contrast to its heavy mass. The most imposing of the impe- rial mosques — that is to say, of the houses of worship founded by the sultans (Djami-i-Salatin), nearly twenty of which are to be counted in Constantinople alone — express this governing thought in two principal types. The first is to be found in an arran2:ement of the central domes, after a model taken from the Church of St. Sophia, to which two half-domes are added on the longer diameter of the building : the second, which still more sharply defines the fundamental motive, consists of a prin- cipal dome, enclosed by four smaller ones in such a manner as to form a cross. This last form makes its first appearance in the Mosque of Mahmud II., which was built by a Byzantine architect in 1463-69. Both forms prevail by turns in Turkish architecture. Thus the form of the Church of St. Sophia was used in the Mosque of Mahmud Bajasid II. (1497-1505) and in that of Solimanieh (of which we shall make further mention) ; while the shape of the Mahmudieh appears again in the Mosque of the Princes, the work of Sinan, between 1543 and 1548, as well as in the great Mosque of Achmet I. (1609-14). All the brilliancy of the ornament is generally concentrated in the mosaic decoration of the interior ; while the exterior is, as a rule, neglected. The powerful arches of the domes, and the slender minarets, — of which there are generally four, one rising from each corner (only the Mosque of Achmedieh has six), — make up a characteristic exterior. Among the brilliant works of this kind, the chief are the Mosque of Selim II. at Adrianople (1566-74), a dome resting on eight colossal polygonal pillars ; and especially the magnificent Mosque of Soliman II. at Con- stantinople. This is an imitation of the Church of St. Sophia, with pointed arches. Near it rises the mausoleum of the Sultan, an octagonal dome, simply executed, with groups of pointed win-

4-2,6 History of Art.

dows, and surrounded by corridors with pointed arches. These three works were executed by Sinan, the most celebrated of the Turkish architects.

Under the supremacy of the Mohammedan faith, to which it had been subject since the days of Osman, Persia^ experienced a long epoch of high moral and material civilization. Science and poetry flourished at the courts of the caliphs, who soon threw off the yoke, and founded dynasties of their own. The only important monuments, however, that have been preserved, belong to a later epoch, — to the time of the conquest of the country by Timur, toward the end of the fourteenth century. They give evidence of a splendid development of Oriental art. Osman architecture acquired a decided influence over the Per- sian from the time of the conquest of Constantinople, when it found in the Church of St. Sophia a model which led to a most important progress in mosque-building. Thus Byzantium, even in its downfall, exercised a beneficial influence upon the Orient as well as upon the Occident (as we shall see later on). The Persian mosques also adopted the dome, resting on a polygonal or square foundation, and succeeded in producing a splendid effect by means of it. The main characteristics of Persian buildings are high portals and rich minarets, a pleasing realism in their ornamentation, which introduced figures of flowers and plants, and finally the use of soft, cheerful tints.

One of the most finished of these works, now lying in ruins, was the mosque at Tabriz, erected in the middle of the fifteenth century (Fig. 208). Its model consists of a dome, about fifty feet in diameter, surrounded by vaulted halls, whose decoration combines most costly magnificence and harmonious beauty. Flowers and plants in vivid green and white intertwine on an azure ground : golden arabesques and inscriptions, on a black ground, are interwoven with them. As a whole, the Persian

1 Dcnkmaler der Kunst, plate 40. Texier : Description dc I'Armenie, &c. Paris, 1872. Cose ct Flandin : Voyage en Perse. 6 vols. Folio. Paris, 1843-54. Sir Robert Ker Porter : Travels in Georgia, Persia, &c., from iS 1 7-20. 2 vols. Quarto. London, 1825.

Mohammedan Architecture. — Ispahan.


arabesques have rather a realistic character, while those of the Spanish Moors are in a pure and severe architectural style. The ornamental buildings which sprang up at Ispahan, the capi- tal city of the Sufi dynasty during the sixteenth century, are also remarkably gorgeous. The most noteworthy ones are grouped around a gigantic square, the great Maidan, which is surrounded by a two-storied, vaulted arcade with pointed arches, and which has in the middle of each side a very high gateway flanked by minarets. One of these portals leads to the great mosque (Fig. 222), which, as well as the whole structure, is a work of Shah Abbas the Great (i 587-1629). Deep outer courts, and a succession of orna- mental doors with min- arets, prepare the way for the effect of the interior, the chief apartment of which is surmounted by a dome, that exhibits, with its

convex and striped profile, the fantastic character of the Orient. All these forms are spun over on the outside and inside with a network of the most exquisite ornamentation ; and even the mighty dome is completely covered with variegated tiles ; so that the solid part of the architecture appears to be lost in a maze of decoration. The tapering form of the wedge-shaped arch prevails in the dome as in the portals, which include a semicircular niche richly ornamented, and covered with cell-like vaultings.

A number of equally beautiful works have been preserved in

Fig. 222. Portal of the Mosque of Ispahan.

438 History of Art.

India, that belong, also, to the closing epoch of the Mohamme- dan style. The reign of the Great Moguls, who took their arigin from the dynasty of Timur in 1526, was greatly distinguished for its magnificent monuments, the most admirable of which came into existence in the time of Shah Jehan the Great and his grandson ; that is to say, in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. Just as the new court imitated that of the Persian Shah in language and customs, so, too, its art was formed ac- cording to the leading features of the Persian : hence we have the same principal forms, — the striped arches and domes, the high niches, the frequent grouping of slender minarets, the ex- tensive courts and halls. But, instead of the delicate style of the Persian ornamentation, the exterior assumes the character of imposing and massive proportions, the different parts of which offer very picturesque contrasts, it is true, though, in the weight and gravity of their monumental expressions, they seem to be striving to imitate the ancient Hindu works of the coun- try. A fairy-like splendor of costly stuffs, precious metals, and jewels, that realizes the dreamy charm of an Oriental fairy-tale, is lavished upon the inner decoration. Shah Akbar built his father's mausoleum near Delhi, and his own at Sacundra, near Agar ; and at Agra the Dschumna and the Mosque of Pearls, — works whose wealth is surpassed by the still more magnifi- cent enterprises of Shah Jehan. He founded New Delhi, and adorned the city with ornamental buildings, especially with his own imposing palace and the brilliant Dschumna Mosque. He built a mausoleum for his favorite wife, Nur Jehan, near Agra, — the celebrated Taj Mahal, a dome of white marble, which, surrounded by beautiful gardens, rises from imposing corridors. Open-work marble screens soften the sunlight that streams into the dome, seventy feet in diameter, and lights up the fabulous splendor of its glittering, colored, flower-patterned mosaics, composed entirely of jewels. Farther south, in the Deccan, numerous monuments of the same late period are to be found, above all others the mausoleums, palaces, and mosques at Bedj-

Christian Architecture. — The Orient.


apur ^ (Fig. 223), whose composition is more picturesque, richer, and more in the old Hindu manner.



About the period of the tenth and eleventh centuries, there sprang up in the regions of the Caucasus a type of Christian architecture which took its fundamental laws from the system of Byzantium ; but which, in its methods of applying them, showed distinctly the influence of early Mohammedan art.^ The ground-

Fig. 223. Mausoleum at Bedjapui.

plan of the churches erected under this system followed the form of the Greek cross, with a dome rising from the centre ; and, though this clearly shows a Byzantine model, the form of the dome itself displays an entirely original conception. In- stead of the rounded vaulting, showing its shape even in the exterior, we find here a tent-like roof of stone covering the dome, — a method probably first suggested by the nature of

1 See Denkmaler der Kunst, plate 40. L. von Orlich : Reise in Ostindien. Leipzig, 1845. Daniel! : Oriental Scenen'. London. Fergusson : Hand-Book of Architecture. Vol. i.

2 Texier: Description de I'Armenie, &c. 3 vols. Fol. Paris, 1839-49. Tome i. Du- bois de Montperoux : Voyage autour du Caucase, &c. Paris, 1839. 4 vols. D. Grimm Monuments d' Architecture Byzantine en Georgie et en Armenie. St. Petersburg, 1859.


History of Art.

the climate in these mountainous regions. The interior is divided into different parts, generally by massive pillars made up of clusters of slender columns ; and, in the roofing, domes and cylindrical vaultings are employed. The chief apse, at the altar, is generally accompanied by two smaller apsides, for the side-aisles : but none of these apses show on the exte- rior in semicircular projections ; they are cut off by the straight wall of the building ; and only a deep, triangular wall-niche indicates their point of junction. Similar triangular niches


Fig. 224. Cathedral at Ani.

are found at those points of the wall which are strengthened on the inside by piers, and which, therefore, according to the traditional treatment of all other systems but this, would seem to need strengthening by a buttress on the exterior, instead of such a weakening. The outside of the walls is divided by a series of delicate and slender semi-columns, connected by an imitation of the form of an arcade, and employed both on the main wall and on the drum of the dome. Besides these, the

Christian Architedtire. — Russia. . 441

cornices are decorated with flat friezes of scroll-work, which, however, like all the ornamental adjuncts, have a certain forced look and lack of strength, and give an unsatisfactory and feeble air to these superficially-conceived, but, on the whole, well- proportioned buildings.

Examples of this kind of architecture may be found in the Cathedral at Ani (Fig. 224), — which is, however, of but small dimensions, like the other churches of the country, — and in the Cloister-Church of Etschmiazin and the Church of St. Rhip- sime at Vagharschabad, the last built on a most complicated variation of the cruciform ground-plan. The Church at Ala Werdi and that of the Holy Virgin at Gelathi in Georgia are other specimens.


Russia received Christianity, and with it the Byzantine sys- tem of art, as early as the tenth century ; but here it was more intimately associated than elsewhere with the most extravagant forms of Oriental taste. Russian architecture has, indeed, a spirit of audacious fancy, that not only laughs at all well- defined laws, but even seems to avoid, as far as it can, every form of simple and intelligible beauty. The ground-plan of the churches, it is true, follows Byzantine rules ; and domes and cylindrical vaulting are used in the roofs, overloaded with ornamentation in painting and costly variegated stones. In spite of these, the effect of the interiors is dark and heavy ; but the exteriors show such an extravagant superfluity of fantastic forms, and are so covered with towers, domes, and domed turrets, glittering with striking colors and gilding, that the eye loses itself in the fairy-like confusion. Barbaric decorations still further add to this already over-brilliant mass, and in the course of time become so mingled with the architectural forms of the mediaeval Western nations, and even with the details of the Italian renaissance style, that they produce a wild disorder in the rules of art. The work which is considered the best exam-


History of Art.

pie of this style is the Church of Wasili Blagennoi at Moscow, from the low body of which spring a swarm of domes and towers, " like a stool of glittering mushrooms " (Fig. 225).

Fig. 225. Church of Wasili Blagennoi. At Moscow.

Religious pictures which copy the old Byzantine models in a spiritless, unvarying way, are used in the Russian Church even at the present time. These brown, crudely-painted, and monotonous works may be frequently seen in museums. There is an especially good collection in the Imperial Gallery in Berlin.




Rising from that great wave of barbaric invasion which swept away the rotting fabric of Roman rule, the Frankish Empire, as soon as the flood had ebbed, sprang into immediate leader- ship, and won, under Charlemagne, the position of a new, world- dominating power, like a revived empire of the Csesars. In it the last remains of ancient civilization were collected, and preserved as the germs of further development. The barbaric population of the West learned to subject itself to political laws, and adapt itself to old forms of culture. But at the first it could not rise to the power of producing really new creations and a thoroughly fresh life, simply because it was impossible for the rough but unexhausted strength of the Northern races to be completely and at once amalgamated with the already indistinct forms of old tradition. It was only the fall of the Carlovingian Empire, therefore, that really founded the new epoch. The Germanic mind rebelled against that united realm which had been established on the old Roman model ; and it was only then that the period of development began, which is properly, and in the accurate sense of the word, called the mediaeval. It was preceded, to be sure, by a time of wild dis- order ; and every thing seemed about to sink back into chaos. But the firm rule of the Saxon emperors founded a new con- dition of order, which soon re-acted on the rest of Western Europe. The tenth century may be looked upon as the true


444 History of Art.

beginning of the middle ages. The first epoch, which from the point of view of art is called the Romanesque, extends to about the middle of the thirteenth century.

The character of this period is diametrically opposed to that of all previous stages of development. While in the ancient world the different peoples developed independently side by side, one succeeding another, and each worked out for itself its own form of civilization, prescribed by its mental endow- ments and its natural surroundings, by the character of the region, the influences of the climate, and then, at length, all peculiarities were alike crushed out by the Roman suprem- acy of the world ; so, now, all nations united in a relation of mutual and equal activity in the development of civilization. Christendom gave the same direction to all, the same goal, and the same foundation. Its rule did not, however, fetter the in- dividual, but, on the contrary, secured to him a free exercise of his ability and will. Thus great fundamental laws arose, everywhere equally applicable, which, nevertheless, in no sense did away with the rich variety of individual national peculiari- ties. Thus, in this epoch, the modern nationalities developed freely and vigorously in language, morals, and art.

Now that the still young and vigorous Germanic nations, under the guidance of Christianity, with one accord strove to possess themselves of the remains of ancient culture, and to mould themselves in conformity with the requirements of Chris- tian law and the forms of Roman antiquity, the result was a new form of social life. The Church was, at that period, the sole depositary of learning ; and, with Christianity, she spread abroad morality and the spiritual life by means of her monastic estab- lishments. These, in a period of wild commotion and keen strife, were the asylums of high culture; and it was from them that all the arts and sciences were gradually diffused. But at the same time, from the military spirit of the Germanic nations came the institution of chivalry, — a system consecrated by the Church, and whose asperities were moderated by a ten-

Romanesque Architecture. — The Period. 445

der regard for woman. These elements impressed upon the Romanic epoch a mingled hierarchic and aristocratic character. It was only gradually, that, under the protection of the abbeys and the episcopal sees, settlements of the common people de- veloped a burgher class, based on worth, diligence, and indus- try. It flourished only in the succeeding epoch.

Out of groups so diverse as these was formed the state, not in the sternly despotic form of Roman domination, neither in the republican spirit of Greece, but as a feudal union, based on ancient German tradition as modified by the institutions and the needs of more recent times. It was founded on personal relations, imposed little restraint on the activity of the indi- vidual, and gave to the epoch its peculiarly mobile character. It was a period of effort and development, of action and re- action of forces, of rugged valor and fanatical tenderness, of cruelty and gentleness, — a chaos of rude contrasts. And if this condition of things was the natural result of the Germanic spirit, of a period of transition and youthful fermentation, the teachings of Christianity were calculated only to intensify the strife. Christianity disturbed the harmony between man and nature, and introduced a sense of discordance by proclaiming to man a higher spiritual law, in the light of which his inborn nature became a sinful thing which he was to overcome. The result was an unrest, a feeling of discontent, and, as a conse- quence, a balancing between fierce passion and deep remorse, but, at the same time, intense devotion and lofty contemplation. We can notice these traits only in so far as they help us to understand artistic growth, and explain the restless pulsations which traverse the whole civilization of mediaeval times, and impel the artistic activity of the age to unceasing struggle and to fresh development. This is specially true of architecture, which, throughout the middle ages, took the lead in all the higher forms of activity. It was natural that art should attain exceptional eminence in a period which strove to express in bold characters the thoughts which filled all minds, — a period

446 History of Art.

when the masses and the corporations had weight, and when the individual was held fast within the insuperable limits of his station, of his association. A freer development of the fine arts met with too many hinderances : there was, first of all, the fluctuating, unsettled, agitated state of men's minds ; then the attitude of opposition to nature assumed by Christianity, and the inflexible church-tradition, which kept artistic occupations shut up between monastic walls, and required the artist to con- fine himself to simple copying of the ancient types. Hence the fine arts were dependent entirely on architecture, and from it received their laws. They were required to be strictly subor- dinate to the total effect, to fit themselves into the frame ap- pointed for them by the architect, and to have regard for symme- try and rhythm ; and thus they were restrained in their freedom of action. Nevertheless, even under these hard conditions, the fine arts learned to take steps for themselves ; for it is a uni- versal law of development, that at the proper time, and when there is a sufficiency of native force, the fetters which confine the young life are burst asunder.


The old Christian basilica is the starting-point for mediaeval architecture. It was universally held to be the canonical form of a church-edifice ; but, during the five hundred years of its development, it underwent a series of remarkable transforma- tions, till, at length, what was at first plain and even rude was changed into one of the highest forms, one of the most perfect creations, of architecture. What distinguishes the Romanesque basilica from that of the early Christian period is the entirely novel form displayed in the architectonic basis of the structure. But even the ground-plan itself could not be retained without considerable modifications. These especially affected the choir and the fagade, — the eastern and western portions of the edi-

Romanesque Architecture. — The Churches. 447

fice. The body of the building is, as in the ancient Christian basiUcas, a wide, middle nave, between two side-naves of only about half its height and width. The five-naved plan is in this period still rarer than even in the preceding one. At the end of the nave a boldly-projecting transept usually separates the former from the choir, thus giving to the church its cruciform

Fig. 226. Church at Monreale.

Fig. 227. S. Godehard at Hildesheira.

shape (Figs. 226, 227). Often, it is true, the transept (as in Fig. 228) does not project; and in that case it is indicated by the greater distance between the piers, and the elevation of the spaces on either side. Sometimes it is altogether omitted. The most considerable modification of the choir consists in ex- tending the middle nave to a distance of about one-fourth of its


History of Art.

length beyond the transept, and when it terminates in the apsis. This enlargement of the choir-space was made necessary by the great number of the monastic clergy who had to be seated along the two side-walls. Owing to this change of the ground- plan, the central portion of the transept, " the square," became

a court open on all sides, and defined by four massive piers, one at each angle (Figs. 226, 227, 228), and united by four arches. Usually this open space was made continuous with the choir, and was cut off from the main nave and the arms of the cross by a stone screen. The side of the screen toward the nave was often provided with a sort of tribune, from which the gospel used to be read to the people : hence it got the name of "lectorium " (lectern). But commonly the whole of the choir, or presbyterium as it was also called, stood several steps higher than the nave ; and under it was a subterranean church, the crypt, with arches supported on short iso- lated columns. It served as a burial- place for eminent persons, such as the abbots, or the founders of the church ; and it had an altar of its own. Thus, then, the choir-space, as being the holy of holies, stood high above the level of the nave, in which the congre- gation assembled.

In this enlargement of the choir there is developed a great variety, ranging from the simplest plan — which sometimes rejects even the apse, and terminates the choir with a right line — up to the highest degree of complexity, in which, by the free employment of apses, very lively and picturesque

Fig. 228. Cathedral at Giirk.

Romanesque Architecture. — Church- Plans. 449

effects are produced. Not only have the arms of the cross, or the side-naves, their special apses, but the side-naves some- times project alongside of the choir, and also terminate in apses (Fig. 228) ; or they surround the middle space as a semi- circular aisle (Fig. 227), and contain a number of recesses, which give to the plan of the high choir an arrangement as though its parts radiated from a common centre. As all these apses (also called conchae) served as niches for altars, the greater or less requirements of the worship became the occasion for a corresponding modification of the ground-plan. But these conditions were different in different religious orders ; and, even in the different cloisters of the same order, they differed widely, according to the number of the monks, the funds provided by pious founders, and other similar circumstances.

Another result of the change in the forms of worship was the suppression of the narthex, and of the long atrium of the basil- icas. The whole congregation of the laity, no longer graded as in the early days of Christianity, must have free admission to the house of God ; and hence, at most, there was left only a small vestibule — paradisus as it was called — before the main portal ; and the cantharus, or tank, which before had stood in the atrium, was contracted to the proportions of the holy-water basin at the entrance of the church. The main portal is usu- ally in the middle of the western end-wall ; so that, as one enters, the first thing that meets his eye is the elevated choir, with its apse in the distance. Often, however, in Episcopal churches (cathedrals) and in great abbeys, a second choir was necessary : this stood in the western end of the church, and faced the main choir, as shown in the Church of St. Godehard in Hildesheim (Fig. 227) ; and this westerly choir was some- times even developed into a second transept. But, wherever the more ordinary arrangement prevails, the grand main portal is flanked by two towers, one on each side ; and in Northern art these are connected directly with the church-building, thus add- ing to the artistic development of the basilica a new and impor-


History of Art.

tant element. In conventual churches there was also erected, usually in the western part of the middle nave, a gallery sup- ported on columns, where the abbess, with her nuns, had her separate seat. In some other churches, too, a similar arrange- ment is found, though in such cases the purpose of this gallery is less obvious.

These important modifications of the ground-plan were em- phasized in various ways, by new forms, in the development of the architectonic structure. True, the flat roof was still re- tained for a long time over all the portions, except the crypt and the apses : nevertheless, certain essential parts of the struc- ture acquired a new arrangement, and, first of all, the sup- ports on which the arches of the arcades rested, sustaining the upper wall of the middle nave. Often, it is true, columns are here employed, as in the ancient Christian basilica (Fig. 226) ; but, more frequently, isolated piers are introduced into the row

of columns, either alternating with the latter, or supplanting every third pair of columns (Fig. 227), as in the two Hildesheim churches already . men- tioned. Finally they come to be ex- clusively employed ; so that the ba- silica with columns becomes a piered basilica (Fig. 228). Then an effort is made to enliven the lofty upper wall of the nave by placing a cornice over the arcades, from which vertical bands sometimes extend downward to the capitals of the pillars ; or by spanning each two arches of the arcade with a larger arch, skipping one pillar (Fig. 229). The windows are then placed above the cornice of the arcade : they are smaller than in the ancient Christian basilica, but splayed both within and without, to give freer entry to the light ; and, as in the ancient basilica.

Fig. 229. Church at Huysburg.

Romanesque Architecture. — V'aulting. 45 1

they terminate above in semicircular arches. Similar windows, only smaller, are cut in the exterior walls of the side-naves, as also in the apses : in the principal apse three, and in the minor apses only one each.

But the Romanesque style did not long retain this simplicity of construction. The frequent fires which seized on the rafters of the roof, destroying them, together with the wooden ceiling, and ruining pillar, column, and wall, now gave rise to an inno- vation, which at the same time gratified the higher aesthetic sense. The question was, how to combine vaulting with the plan of the basilica. In some places, cylindrical vaulting was tried, and even the dome ; but the influence of these essays was merely local, and not calculated to call forth any general imita- tion. A better and more promising solution of the problem was the adoption of the cross-vault, already employed in con- tracted spaces, and the employment of which in the broad and lofty nave of a church was simply a bold innovation made possi- ble by the now enlarged technical skill of the artisan. At first, the architect was content with roofing the side-naves with sepa- rate cross-vaulting, — a thing all the easier, as their breadth was about equal to the distance between the piers ; thus giving square spaces. Tranverse arches were then thrown across from the piers to pilasters projecting from the outer wall, and the square spaces thus formed were roofed with cross-vaulting. And now, as there was a firmer substructure, galleries were sometimes erected over the side-naves, presenting toward the principal nave an arrangement of columns, and breaking the wall-surface over the arcades (compare Fig. 230). This mode of enlivening otherwise bold surfaces was of such service in giving freer articulation to the superstructure, that it was often- times employed even where there were no galleries at all, and where it merely simulated the so-called triformm.

But now, inasmuch as similar square spaces were required in vaulting over the middle nave, one pier was passed over, and from the next a transverse arch was carried across to the one


History of Art.

opposite ; and thus was formed a system of great vaults over the middle nave, one of which always answers to two bays in each of the side-naves (Fig. 230). In this way the basilica received a quite new character. No longer did its separate

parts — the vertical, sup- porting portions, and the horizontal and supported — stand in striking contrast to each other, but a fluent architectonic life caused the one movement to pass over into the other, gave to the whole a higher rhythmic organization, and, out of the hitherto monotonous row of arcades, formed a num- ber of groups with marked breaks of the vertical lines (compare Fig. 230), The plan of transverse vault- ings involved, of course, a strengthening of the sup- ports on which they stood ; and this additional strength was given to the piers in the form of a pilaster projection or an engaged column ; and thus was developed a new structural form at once significant and artistically effective, whose technical and aesthetic advan- tages found universal acceptance.

As for the details of the Romanesque style, their general plan was the same, whether they were applied to flat-roofed or to vaulted basilicas. Where the column is introduced, it is, indeed, now and then, fashioned after the antique model ; but, as a genera] rule, there is no aesthetic law for the proportions of the separate parts. And in this respect we find the utmost

Fig. 230. From the Cathedral at Modena.

Rom-anesqite Architecture. — The Colwmis. 453

diversity: sometimes the columns are thick and heavy, some- times slender and elegant. The base is generally of the Attic form ; but, as a rule, there is added to it at each angle a projec- tion resembling a leaf, which, springing from the torus, spreads out, and fills up the empty angles of the square plinth (Fig. 231). This angle-ornament is variously shaped, being now a little block or boss, again a leaf, or the figure of some animal ; often as- suming some purely fan- tastic shape. Indeed, the different columns of one edifice, and even of one and the same arcade, ex- hibit a great diversity in the form of their angle- ornaments. The shaft of the column was not fluted, nor was its outline convex : at most, it was only reduced in diameter toward the top ; and even this was not always done. Still we find — especially in the later, more exuberant develop- ment of this style — instances of highly ornate treatment; yet this does not affect the column itself, but is purely decorative, clothing the shaft with party-colored twisted bands, with playful lines, or spiral fluting.

The development of the capital is a still more important feature. Here the passion for exuberant and diversified play of form is especially observable. At first, an attempt was made to copy the Corinthian capital ; but in most cases the imitation was crude and abortive : though now and then, wher- ever the influence of the antique was still strongly felt, — as in Italy and certain portions of France, — a higher degree of knowledge and skill was brought to bear upon the problem ; and in a few places this mode continued to be dominant during

Fig. 231. Base of Column from the Catliedral of Parenzo.


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the whole Romanesque epoch. Still these antique forms were of too foreign a type, and too delicate and ornate in detail, to suit the fancy of the Northern nations : hence another form of capital was devised, essentially Romanesque in form, which, in a simple and effective way, accomplished the transition from

the round shaft of the col- umn to the square abacus. This is the cubiform capi- tal (Fig. 232). While in its upper portion it is quad- rangular, each of the four side - surfaces terminates below in a semicircle ; and the bottom gradually as- sumes the round form of the shaft. The abacus consists either of a j)linth obliquely chamfered, or of a more complicated ar- rangement of members, chief among which are the echinus, the fluting, the cornice, and other parts taken from the antique. But here, again, we find the utmost liberty allowed ; and all manner of combinations are permissible, provided only they arc effective. The surfaces of the cubiform capital cither arc left smooth, or covered with abundant ornamentation, consisting of varied combinations of foliage, geometrical lines, and even figures of animals and men. Even historic scenes are often carved upon the surfaces of capitals.

Contemporaneously with this capital appeared another, — the caliciform, or chalice-shaped, — which was largely employed both in its simple and ornamented forms (Fig. 233). Finally, these two styles, the cubical and the caliciform, are often blended, their ornamental execution producing the most varied shapes.

Besides the column, the pier was largely employed, either alone, or alternately with the former. Its form is rectangular,

Fig. 232. Cubiform or Block Capital from the Cathedral at Gurk.

Romanesqtie Architecture. — Treatmejtt of Piers. 455

and frequently square, terminating below in a base, which com- monly has the same form as that in the Attic (see Fig. 79, p. 143), and above crowned by a cornice having the same general outline, only reversed. Many other combinations — of members curved inward or outward, ovolos, flutings, small plinths, and nar- row beads — frequently occur. Here, too, there is perfect free- dom of combination. Generally there is an effort at giving to the entire pier a certain degree of lightness ; but, in the process,

Fig. 233. Calyx-Capitals. Church at Horpacz.

its rectangular form is in almost every instance lost. The cor- ners are slightly bevelled, or one or more very slender columns are inserted in them. These little columns have capitals and postaments of their own ; but, inasmuch as they have their cor- nices and bases in common with the central pier, they form an integral part of it. This rich complexity of structure, which, without impairing the strength of the pier, gives it a more graceful appearance, is often continued along the arches of the arcade, giving a lighter look to their broad spans.

The exterior of the Romanesque church is built in sober,


History of Art.

quiet masses, reaching a considerable height in the low side- nave, the loftier middle aisle and transept ; while the tower overtops the whole. The whole structure is surrounded by a socle, whose members often show the elements of the Attic base and kindred forms. Narrow pilaster-like fillets were used to divide the wall-spaces, rising from the socle, corresponding with the intervals inside the building, and ending above in a frieze composed of small round arches, round the roofs of both side-aisles and of the higher nave (Figs. 234, 236). This arch- frieze, an unmis- takable mark of Romanesque build- ings, is variously finished, often changing in the same structure ; being used with or without consoles for the separate sides of an arch, and varying greatly in richness of design. The cornice of the roof is added above, often accompanied by other ribbon-like friezes. The most usual form of frieze was made up of diagonally-placed stones (stratum) (Fig. 234). The checker-board frieze, consisting of several rows of stones alternately raised and depressed, is even more effective, as is another and similar frieze formed of short round rods alter- nated in like manner. In certain localities a number of con- soles were added, in the antique manner, but of original design (Fig. 235). While at this time severe solid masses of masonry were only relieved by perpendicular fillets (lisenes), or at most by engaged columns, arch-friezes, and mock-arcades, and only pierced by small, widely-separated windows, the main apse, and, indeed, the other principal parts of the building, were often finished, as shown in Fig. 234, by a perfectly open gallery resting on miniature columns, forming a corridor

Fig. 234. Aich-Krie/.c. Cliuich al Wiener-Neustadt.

Romanesque Architecture. — The Facade. 457

around those portions, and not only lessening the mass of masonry, but giving a lively and cheerful finish to the other- wise grave and positive character of this style of architecture. Besides this, the eastern portions of the structure received a richer treatment, appropriate to their innate significance.

Fig. 235. Church at Schwarz-Rlieindorf.

The perfection of the facade was of special importance ; an entirely new aspect being given to its composition by the direct addition of a tower. Two towers, in the earliest period round, but soon made square for the sake of more perfect annexation, were generally added to the two side-aisles (Fig. 236). They enclose the broad middle portion as in a strong frame, corre- sponding to the central aisle, and communicating with its main door. Sometimes the lower story was built in undivided breadth, and finished with an arch-frieze ; so that the separate members were only developed independently above this. But often the facade was divided by perpendicular fillets (lisenes) to corre-


History of Art.

spond to the internal divisions. ^ The towers rose up in several stories, bordered with lisenes and arch-friezes, and frequently

,/• '^

<;i\.V \

■mj?--*?- ^


Fig. 236. FaQade of the Church of St. JAk.

also enlivened with mock-arcades. The upper stories of these

[1 These perpendicular fillets or lisenes can be seen in Fig. 236, dividing the side-wall into five panels, corresponding to the five bays of the aisles.]

Romanesque ArcJiitecture. — TJie Portal. 459

towers were lighted by windows in twos or threes, and by win- dow-like perforations of the wall, partitioned off by small col- umns, which increased in size and number with the height, that the proportions of the tower might seem lighter and airier as it mounted. The tower was often octangular in the upper por- tion, and the transition from the square substructure was ac- complished in the simplest fashion by a steep slope.

The central point of the facade was the main entrance, whose walls spread on either hand from the inside to the outside, and are often cut rectangularly ; so that hollows are formed, in which tiny, separate slender columns are arranged (Fig. 241). These are connected with the cornice of the pier-angles by their abacus, and are only made prominent by special capitals and bases. In similar style this arrangement of the walls of the door is continued in the semicircular arch which serves to crown the whole. Where the opening of the entrance, as often . happens, is finished by a horizontal beam (Figs. 236 and 250), an arched panel is formed between this and the frame, which is called the tympanum, and is frequently filled up with sculp- tured subjects in relief, such as Christ enthroned between the figures of patron saints, evangelists, or adoring angels. Around the doors is generally developed the full splendor of the deco- ration, which not only wholly covers the shafts of the columns, but also the proportions of the embracing arches, with its varied patterns. A large round window is often introduced over the door, partitioned off by spoke-like rods ; whence it receives the name of wheel-window, The topmost part of the facade is either formed by the roof of the central aisle, which then often emphasizes the lines of its gable with an ascending arch-frieze, or else by a high, soaring transept which con- nects the towers (Fig. 251). From these few fundamental principles, which undergo many variations, an earnest, solid, severe, and clearly-proportioned style of fagade is formed, richly developed wherever opportunity offers. The whole church-plan receives a significant finish from it, in which the

460 History of Art.

chief forms of the interior are effectively united, and the spa- cious proportions of the whole structure are clearly expressed. Still the manifold conceptions of this endlessly-varying style are by no means exhausted in these fundamental principles. A more varied and complicated arrangement of the towers, especially, enables the larger abbeys and cathedrals to display an imposing and beautiful grouping. One important factor in this result is the circumstance that a dome is often reared over the intersection of nave and transept, which is built up on the outside from the main building in octagonal, tower-like masses, broken by fillets and arch-friezes, crowned with colon- nades, and finished off with a polygonal, pyramidal roof. Slen- der towers are added at both sides of the choir, or at the end of the side-aisle, in connection with these domes, in which there is an unmistakable trace of Byzantine architecture, how- ever original its adaptation may be. The dome is often re- peated over a second transept, also united with the towers, which give an uncommonly stately effect to the whole plan (Fig. 237). In the construction of towers, the Romanesque style shows great variety. It makes the roof the head of the tower, be it of stone or wood ; and in the latter case it is covered with metal or slate, sometimes slender, sometimes blunt, sometimes simple, sometimes rich, according as general progress or the special tendency of some local school prevails. In this, as in other points, the Romanesque style displays such power and depth of individual form, that only a slight idea of what was generally used can be given, since a closer idea of its full variety and fertility can only be gained by the study of separate local examples.

An unrestrained richness of ornament now spread over all parts of the structure, revealing its opulence in capitals, cor- nices, bases, and even in the shafts of columns. Vegetable life also lent its aid : vines, flowers, and leaves intwine the capitals and cornices in great beauty and variety. Yet the Romanesque foliage is never copied directly from nature.

Romaiiesqtie Architecture. — Ornajnentation. 461 but only gives a general portrait in a few bold lines. It gener-

Fig. 237. Cathedral at Worms. After DoUinger.

ally selects a delicate leaf, whose point, marked with lanceolate

462 History of Art.

indentations, is spreading and gracefully curved, and whose veins it traces by little rows of beads. Beside this foliage, much linear ornament is also used on friezes and cornices, especially about the frames of doors, — for instance, twisted and knotted ribbons ; labyrinthine mazes ; wavy, winding, zigzag, and broken lines ; scales ; checker-board patterns ; and the like, — in a brilliant profusion, and mostly in strong, full outlines. To these forms were added animal and human bodies, monstrous images of every sort, — partly of deep symbolic meaning, partly wild flights of Northern fancy ; and all this rich life is boldly and gorgeously intermingled in a fantastic medley, and expressed in powerful sculpture with sharp interchange of light and shade. Of course there is great diversity in the work, according to the time, place, and the material employed ; and crude, clumsy attempts find place beside skilful, bold, and elegant work. But, in the main, Romanesque ornament may justly claim to be original and independent. The fine, scholastic perfection of Roman antiquity is lost ; but in its place we have an inexhausti- ble wealth and unconquerable freshness of fancy. It contrasts with the kindred school of Arabic ornament in its greater com- mand of imagination, stronger characterization of form, and a wiser sense of limitation in their use. This vigorous style of sculpture is one of the chief points of superiority of Roman- esque architecture.

If we consider church-architecture in its general effect, ac- cording to these brief outlines, we are, first of all, agreeably impressed and attracted by the fresh life with which the Ger- man nation has endowed the basilica pattern, and thus develoi^ed it into new forms. Above all, the character of the structure is still sacerdotal and sacred, though often increased to one of solemn pomp. But although the strong, independent feeling of the German people still pulsates in it, the breath of a new national spirit stirs in its construction. As sculpture did most active work in the organic structure, so, too, a great part was assigned to painting ; walls, ceilings, and vaulted roofs being

Romanesque Architechcre. — Mo7tasteries. 463

adorned with the glorious images of Christ, his apostles and saints. In the apse we generally find the Saviour enthroned upon a rainbow in a broad, almond-shaped panel (the mandorla), upheld by angels, and showing the book of life to those who enter. He is surrounded by apostles, evangelists, the patron saints of the church, and figures from the Old Testament. These pictures were executed upon the dry plaster, and the figures generally stand out in bold colors on a blue ground. The architectural details, especially the capitals, also seem frequently to have been painted. An earnest, solemn tone, strengthened by the tempered light of the little windows, often broken by painted glass, reigns in the broad spaces, and greets, with an air of holy calm and a quiet sense of remoteness from the world, him who enters.

We have hitherto considered the Romanesque church-struc- ture as an isolated work. But this it was not : it was rather a part, perhaps the most important and most solemn part, of a great whole, which developed in varied ways. Churches were mostly connected with convents, whose extensive buildings were attached to them either at the north or south. The monastery buildings and church were united by the cloisters ; a vaulted corridor surrounding a court, usually quadrangular, and opening into it by graceful groups of windows, or rows of arches resting on miniature columns. To this was an- nexed a chapter-room where councils were held, a refectory or dining-hall, and the various other rooms required by the every-day life of the monks. The whole precinct of the monastery was surrounded like a fortress with walls and towers, and, from a distance, might have been taken for a small city.

But even true church-buildings of this date are frequent which deviate from the basilica form, and adopt a polygonal or circular design. Such is particularly the case with the baptis- teries, or christening-chapels, of cathedrals, for which a central plan was popular, and also with mortuary chapels; and even


History of Art.

entire churches occur, which, though deviating in other points, incHne to the central form. When they are without corridors, there is a greater wealth of niches inside or outside (Fig. 238), and a more varied division of the space ; but, if the space is divided by two circles of supporting pillars (Fig. 239), a higher central nave is formed after the style of the basilica, and sur- rounded by low side-aisles as passages. We also sometimes, especially in fortresses, find double chapels — i.e., two chapels built one upon the other — on the same ground-plan, which are connected by an opening in the floor of the upper one ; the

Fig. 238. Plan of the Baptistery at Parma.

Fig- 239- Baptistery at Asti.

under one being occasionally arranged as a mortuary chapel.^ Examples of this kind may be seen in the citadels at Nurem- berg, Eger, Goslar, Freiberg on the Unstrut, and in the conven- tual church at Schwarz-Rheindorf, near Bonn.

As for secular architecture, it did especially good work in building of castles, in which the severe moderation of design, suitable surface-division by means of fillets and arch-friezes, as well as occasional galleries opening with small slender columns, produce a pleasing effect ; as, for example, in the older portions of the Wartburg. Architecture as applied to private dwellings,

1 See W. Weingartner : System des christlichen Thurmbaiies. Gottingen, i860.

Romanesque Architecture. — Transition Style. 465

during this period, only attained an enduring and artistic char- acter in rare instances.

The restlessness which we have already noticed as charac- teristic of mediaeval art produced a remarkable movement in the Romanesque style towards the close of its last flourishing period, which did, indeed, greatly impair the strong, pure character of that architectural school, accepting many ad- mixtures of foreign forms, but at the same time held fast to the ground-principles of Romanesque architecture, and, in fact, unfolded them with the utmost brilliancy, richness, and free- dom. This is called the Transition style, because it is placed between the severe Romanesque and the Gothic styles. Its dominion was, however, hmited to the period between 1175 and 1250, although even these dates are by no means applicable to all places ; and this style appears in very different forms in various local works.

It resulted from the increasing call for more elaborate, richer, and more elegant works, for essential grace and beauty.- Life had everywhere outgrown the stern conventual ban. Chivalry flourished. Cities began to feel their own strength and wealth. Trade introduced great treasures and a knowledge of foreign countries. The crusades also made the cultured laity familiar with the brilliant learning and architecture of the Orient : these men saw graceful, brilliant structures, dainty, piquant forms, and bold combinations ; and all this must have made a deep impression on the receptive spirit of that age. We immediately see Oriental forms introduced into the architecture of Western nations ; foremost among them, the pointed arch and the trefoil arch : but even those fantastic conceptions, the horseshoe and the scalloped arch, — i.e., an arch edged with a row of small semicircles, — appear, though but seldom. While the Western taste adopted these lighter elements of a bold decorative art, it yet gradually gave them another, new, and deeper meaning. After the first timid attempts to naturalize them, it gave them a secure place in its architectural system, and applied the law

466 History of Art.

of a higher proportion to them. The trefoil arch is found in doorways (Fig. 241), galleries, cloister-windows ; and is brought to special richness and beauty in cornices, where the simple round-arch frieze had hitherto prevailed. But even this was fre- quently used side by side with the newer form, though in richer outline ; and with such lavish decoration, that it fairly rivals it.

The pointed arch was not yet of equal importance in the development of the new style. It- too, at first, was only used for its freer, more slender look, and for variety. It was then used in mock-arcades, but afterwards more seriously in the arcades of naves ; and finally was brought into play in the dome itself. Yet here there was no attempt at consistent execution of the new form : it frequently alternated with the round arch ; and for doors and windows the round arch was long preferred, while arcades and cupolas show the pointed arch. This excep- tional use of the pointed arch in the architecture of domes often caused a more flexible ground-plan, as the square division of the vault was no longer necessary. It therefore sometimes happened that a cross-arch sprang from each pier, and the nave was roofed by smaller vaultings, which again marked a quicker pulsation of architectural life. For the same reason, the apse was often made polygonal, and roofed by a pointed vaulting, with calottes, or pendentives, instead of a half-dome.

But there was a constant struggle for slenderer proportions and richer construction. This is shown in the vaulting, by the fact that the cross-ribs become more complicated in outline, with round beads at the angles, and strong projecting semicir- cular ovolos, and occasionally in the deep fluting of the interme- diate angles. Besides this, the corners of the dome were furnished with rounded cross-ribs ; so that the large surfaces of the vault displayed much more sharply-marked divisions. The outline of the arcades of the nave became yet more lively and various, being made up of chamfers, sharp angles, and full round members. The finish of the piers, which was often embellished with a crowd of angle-pillars and h^lf pillars, cor-

Rovia7icsque Architecture. — Desire for Effect. 467

responded to it. . Nevertheless, the true normal execution of the nave-pier, corresponding to the newly-invented vault-form, rested on a regular cruciform plan : so that the mighty sides of the piers, with their projecting half-columns, correspond to the cross-springers of the vaulting ; and the smaller angle-columns, to the diagonal ribs. Slender miniature columns on the walls and at the wall-angles, or in the arcades of the transept, were especially and lavishly used — singly, in pairs, or several to- gether — as supports for the arches, thus producing an uncom- monly good effect. In the cloisters particularly, this often led to a brilliant architectural development, sometimes united with a perfectly-designed division of the wall-spaces. But in large churches, also, the more delicate finish of the piers, and the stronger division of the vaulting, produce an impression which falls far short of the severe and serious character of earlier edifices.

The struggle after stronger effect, already recognized as one of the leading traits of architecture, now pervaded all detail, and brought a brilliant finish with it, in the execution of the different parts and in their decoration. A striking effect, based on sharp contrasts, is aimed at in the bases of columns, in plinths and cornices, by means of deep fluting and under- cutting, as well as by the sudden projection of the parts. The more delicate cup-form prevails in capitals, and is beautifully adorned with elegantly -twined plants, and bud-like, long- stemmed leaves (Fig. 240). Frequently, too, the column or the double column — sometimes the whole pier — is corbelled out, and terminates like a console decorated with foliage close under the capital (Fig. 240). The shafts of the long, thin pil- lars, used for covering the wall or at the doorway, frequently have a ring about the middle, formed of fluted and boldly-pro- jecting beads. Plate-shaped shields also occur on the ribs of the vaulting.

Lastly, we must notice that the windows shared in the general development. The tendency towards more freedom and grace


History of Art.

is apparent in them : they become broader and longer, whether they are finished with a round or pointed arch ; and are more frequently found in twos, threes, and groups, and sometimes united with a small round window above. The effort for more lively grouping, lighter effect, and the utmost possible perfora- tion of surface, is evident in them. The restless spirit of

Fig. 240. Capital from Heingkreug.

longing for novelty introduced many new forms for windows, — such as round ones enclosed in scallops, semicircular, lily- shaped, and fan-shaped ; while the wheel-window reaches a higher perfection. The numerous niches, commonly contain- ing a range of columns surmounted by composite arches, con- stitute an important part of the subdivision of the walls. They

Romanesque Ai^chiteetiu^c. — Decoration. 469

are arranged in different ways, and sometimes as choir-apses. The decorative tendency reaches its height in the case of the doorways, which are generally terminated by round arches, but occasionally by arches of a trefoil pattern, or else pointed, the pillars of which are profusely decorated on base, shaft, and capital, with a mass of ornaments of all descriptions. The

Fig. 241. Portal at Heilsbronn.

same ornamentation is employed on the abacus, on the tym- panum, and on the archivolt (Fig. 241).

The final development of the Romanesque style grew out of these elements, producing at times a beauty in which it attained its legitimate, free, and noble growth, but as often expressing merely a gaudy, fantastic, purposeless motive, and lending itself

470 History of Art.

more to a decorative caprice than to the harmony of a genuine accomplishment, but always an illustration of the almost inex- haustible industry out of which spring a myriad shapes of individual beauty, braving the apparently rigid laws of the Romanesque style.


We are induced to begin our review of the most important monuments of the Romanesque style in Germany by more than one consideration. In the first place, the new, independ- ent development of the basilica-structure is closely connected with the impulse given to life in that country by the strong dominion of the Saxon emperors ; in the next place, because the development of the basilica in Germany led, more than any other cause, to that definite form, which, adhering to its original ideal, has always kept itself free from all fantastic and exag- gerated tendencies ; finally, because the Romanesque style has taken an especially deep root in Germany, and because it has sunk more profoundly here than elsewhere into the national life. To be sure, there are differences to be discovered even here, brought about by smaller local peculiarities, by the in- evitable march of development, and, finally, by the variety of material. But, nevertheless, there remains an undeniable har- mony in the whole German art-development : it has, as it were, a single corner-stone.

Flat-roofed basilicas, of stern simplicity of detail, exist in the Saxon parts of Germany, which, as genuine German provinces, are distinguished for the purity and exactness of their taste in all matters pertaining to art.'- The ground-plan of the basilica is generally in the form of a transept with apses, a choir with a

1 See Denkmaler der Kunst, plates 45, 46.

2 Important work by L. Puttrich : Denkmale der Baukunst des Mittelalters in Sachsen. Leipzig, 1835-52. F. Kugler and E. F. Ranke : Die Schlosskerclie zu Quedlinburg, &c. Berlin, 183S. And more recently in Kugler's kl. Schrift, zur Kunstgeschichte. Vol. i. Stuttgart, 1853. H. W. Mitthoff: Archiv fiir Niedersachsens Kunstgeschichte. Folio. Han- over. C. Schiller: Die mittelalterliche Architektur Brannschweigs, &c. Brunswick, 1852.

Romanesque Architecture. — German C /lurches. 471

laro-er niche ; in the nave a series of alternate columns and piers, and at the end of the nave two massive towers. The Church at Gernrode in the Harz Mountains is especially archaic and severe. It was built in the year 961, probably upon an older foundation, with some alterations. The transept is short. There are alternately columns and piers in the nave, the latter with clumsy antique capitals. On the west side are two round towers, between which shows the high, clumsy main building, to which an apse was added at a later period. There are freer and nobler reminiscences of the antique in the details of the Castle Church at Ouedlinburg, where two columns alter- nate with a pier with arches, and a prolonged crypt extends beneath the choir and the transept. The whole manner of execution illustrates the style of the eleventh century, already fully developed. A complete columned basilica of the advanced but still severe Romanesque style is that of the Cloister Church of Paulinzelle, begun in 1105, with its glorious pillars, its high walls (now half destroyed), and its magnificent vestibule of a later date, — one of the finest ruins in the Thuringian Forest. Splendid examples of misdirected art, built in all the pomp of ornamentation of the culminating period of this style, are the Cathedral of Hildesheim and the Godehard Church, dating from the year 1 146, the ground-plan of which we gave on p. 447. The choir of this church has an aisle with apses, and an oc- tagonal tower over the square, which groups picturesquely with the two west towers. The Church of St. Michael, in the same place, is a good illustration of spaciousness. It contains two complete choirs with transepts ; and apses, one of which has an aisle surrounding it ; and with stately towers rising above both squares : in addition to which, octagonal towers with wind- ing staircases are placed at the gable-ends of the cross-aisles ; so that the church possessed originally six towers. The first foundation, in the year 1033, — to which, in a general way, must be referred the whole plan of the structure, — was followed in the year 11 86 by a splendid restoration, conspicuous for its magnifi-


History of Ai't.

cence of decoration. Rich capitals decorated in various ways ; elegant adornments of the intrados of the arches ; statues above the capitals in the transepts, as well as on the chancel- screen ; finally, a magnificent painted roof of wood in the nave,

— all these still testify to the glories of this grand basilica (Fig. 242), Simpler illus- trations of a rigid ad- herence to the same system of architecture, with fewer decorations, are the churches of the Cistercians at Loccum in Hanover, and at Rid- dagshausen in Bruns- wick, both with rectan- gular choirs ; to which, in the Church at Rid- dagshausen, is added a surrounding aisle and a wreath of chapels.

On the Rhine,' one of the most noted ba- silicas with columns is the Cloister Church at Limburg on the Hardt, founded by the Emperor Conrad II. in the year 1030, but now only a picturesque ruin. High pillars, with simple cubic capitals, separated the nave, forty feet in width, from the transepts : the choir was rectangular, and the west facade provided with a porch. The western

Fig. 242. St. Michael's Church at Hildesheim,

' rieier und Gorz : Dcnkmale romanischer I5aiikunst am Rhein. Folio. Frankfort-on-the- Main, 1846. Boisseiee: Denkmale der Baukunst am Niederrhein. Folio. Munich, 1833. G. Moller : Denkmaler deutschcr Baukunst. Folio. Darmstadt, 1821. Continued by Glad- bach. C. W. Schmidt: Baudenkmale von Trier.

Ro7nanesque Sculpture. — Ge7"man Churches. 473

part of the Cathedral at Treves illustrates, in its massive simplicity, the earnest and impressive style then aimed at in the exterior of buildings. This cathedral was begun by Archbishop Poppo, and finished in 1047 (Fig. 243). The

Fig. 243. Cathedral at Trier (Treves), Western Kud.

Cloister Church in Hesse, built in 1037, belongs to the most famous columned basilicas in Germany. Columned basilicas exist in the Swabian Alemannic provinces,^ in Hirschau (dating

1 Heideloff and Muller : Schsvabische Denknialer ; continued by Leibnitz. Stuttgart, 1855-56.

474 History of Art.

from 107 1), in Schwarzach, in Faurndau, and in St. George, at Hagenau in Alsace. The Cathedral at Constance and the Min- ster at Schaffhausen are still further examples. Bavaria^ and Franconia possess magnificent columned basilicas in the Cathe- drals of Wiirzburg and of Augsburg, which still uprear their ancient fair proportions in spite of modern alterations. After these may be mentioned the structures in Regensburg, built upon a rigidly classical plan, — the Chapel of St. Stephen, near the Cathedral ; the vestibules ; the crypts ; farther on, the ruins of St. Emmerau, as well as the churches of the upper minster, and the Scottish Cloister of St. James, remarkable for its singular door. In Austria ^ the original basilica style is illus- trated by St. Peter's at Salzburg, built after a fire in 11 27, and by the Duomo in Seccan, restored 11 54, both of which have vaulted transepts ; and by the Cathedral in Gurk, a simple, five- columned basilica of the end of the twelfth century, with a superb marble crypt containing a hundred columns (ground- plan Fig. 228) ; finally, the Cathedral at Funfkirchen in Hunga- ry, — a stately columned basilica, built, like the former, without a transept, with three apses in a row.

The vaulted roof first gained the day in Germany, over the flat-roofed basilica, in the Rhine provinces. First in order comes the Cathedral at Mayence, — a magnificent building, the original plan of which was a colossal, flat-roofed, columned basilica with two choirs, a western transept, two towers on the sides of the choirs, and two domes above the transept and the eastern choir. This church exceeds in grandeur all other Romanesque buildings in Germany. The nave is fifty feet wide in the clear, and the interior length of the whole building is four hundred and fifteen feet. After a fire in 1081, the church

1 I. Sighart : Geschichte der bild. Kiinste ini Konegr. Baiern. Munich, 1862.

2 G. Heider, R. v. Eitelberger, and Hieser: Mittelalterliche Kunstdenkmale des osterr. Kaiserstaates. Stuttgart, 1856. Vols, i., ii. Jahrbuch der k. k. Central-Comm. Vienna, 1856. Mittheilungen der k. k. Central-Comm., edited by K. Weiss. Yearly volume for 1856. Publications begun some time since by E. Fiirst Lichnowsky, as well as by Ernst and CEscher, remain uncompleted.

Romanesque Architechire. — Speyer. 475

was restored, to all appearances, entirely in accordance with the original design, which possesses a grand simplicity. The pro- portions are unusually slender, and a marked expression of lightness is conveyed by them. The present vaulted arches belong to a later restoration ; and the imposing plan and elabo- rate execution of the west choir, as well as the transept, are conspicuous instances of the period of transition ; whereas the eastern portions, with their apses, the two doors, and the two round towers which flank the building, most probably date from an earlier period in the eleventh century.

So splendid a model could not long remain unimitated ; and we accordingly find the neighboring Cathedral of Speyer, towards the middle of the twelfth century, improving upon its ancient plan by a similar restoration. This superb building, no less impressive and grand than its rival of Mayence, is one of the most historically interesting of the monuments of the mid- dle ages, being closely associated with the greatness as well as the disgrace of Germany. It was begun by Conrad II. — on the same day as the Abbey at Limburg, already referred to — in the year 1030, and was designed as the burial-place of the German emperors. The place of sepulture was a long crypt, extending under the choir and the transept, which still remains to testify to the original design. The building of the enormous church was carried on by succeeding emperors during almost a century ; the width of the central nave being forty-four feet, and the length of the structure measuring four hundred and eighteen feet. The vaulting, according to the investigations of Hiibsch, was begun at the time of the original construction, and follows the general arrangement of the Mayence Cathedral, although it embodies a sentiment of greater power and energy (Fig. 244). The exterior corresponds in grandeur with the interior : an attractive gallery is carried round all the principal portions of the building, and the arrangement of lofty domes and towers is in accordance with that picturesque spirit of Rhenish architecture which delights in the grouping of impos-


History of Art.

ing masses. The ancient imperial crypt, and the magnificent cathedral itself, were laid in ruins by the incendiary fury of the French troops when Louis XIV. devastated the Palatinate in 1689. For almost a century the monument of the German emperors lay blackened and crumbling, until a restoration was

Fig. 244. interior uf the Cathedral at Speyer.

undertaken in the year 1772, during which the west Imperial Hall especially was altered and reconstructed according to the superb forms of that day. King Louis of Bavaria has restored the cathedral in our own day, and caused it to be decorated

Romanesque Architecture. — The Rhine. 477

with frescos: the Imperial Hall has also been judiciously restored.

The Cathedral at Worms is a third important monument of this series, and dates, to judge by the magnificence of its origi- nal plan, from an early epoch ; although it was restored during the twelfth century, and consecrated in 118 1. In the design and execution of its most important characteristics it suggests alternately the Cathedrals of Mayence and of Speyer. The exterior is marked, as in our former examples, by the double choir with two domes, and by four round spires with winding staircases. The best portions are executed in the florid style of the transition period. An illustration of the exterior is given in Fig. 237.

Passing down the Rhine, we come upon a vaulted structure of similar characteristics in the smaller but harmonious and beau- tiful Abbey of Laach, which was completed in the year 11 56. The square division of the ground-plan has been abandoned in this case. The picturesque appearance of the exterior of the church is heightened by six towers of different heights and shapes. Next, the Church of Schwarzrheindorf,^ near Bonn, may be mentioned as an instance of very original design. It consists of a small, attractive main building, which was en- larged at a later period : it is further remarkable as a double church, and is rendered extremely picturesque by a gallery which runs around its whole extent (Fig. 232).

The church-edifices in old Cologne offer a design of a differ- ent character, but are even more artistically remarkable. The Church of Santa Maria, in the Capital, is one of the earliest and most important monuments : it was consecrated by Pope Leo IX. in the year 1049. The principal part of the present building dates from this period ; although the vaulting of the central nave and the upper parts of the choir and of the tran- septs recall the style of the thirteenth century. The arrange- ment of the building is original. The choir and the two

1 A.Simons: Die Doppelkirche zu Schwarzrheindorf. Bonn, 1846.

478 History of Art.

transepts end in round apses, but are encircled by low aisles,

Fig. 245. Church of the Holy Apostles at Cologne. From Dollinger.

which are separated from the clerestory by columns. The

Romanesque Architecture. — Colog?ze. 479

cross-vaulting of these aisles, and the large, differently con- structed vaultings of the central spaces, afford a surprising proof of the thoroughness with which all technical details were mastered at that period in Cologne. The effect of the interior is in the highest degree solemn, earnest, and yet spirited; this being chiefly due to the fact that the eastern portions of the church converge towards the centre. This centralization of the choir-end of the church was further adopted in the course of the twelfth century in the case of two other churches in Cologne, — those of the Holy Apostles (Fig. 245) and Great St. Martin's. In both of these the tran- septs are shortened, the aisles surrounding the choir are omit- ted, and the whole plan is more concentrated. In both the walls are broken up, relieved, and divided, by niches in the walls, by galleries, and triforiums ; and the exteriors of both are ornamented in the very richest manner. But there is this difference between the two, — that the main building of the nave in the Church of the Apostles is crowned by a wide octagonal cupola, flanked by slender spires ; while an enormous quadrangular tower soars above the centre of the transept in the Great St. Martin's Church, at the corners of which are four more slender towers. Other structures in Cologne bear even more emphatically the stamp of the transition period, espe- cially in the intermixture of the pointed and round arch and in other details of form. The most interesting of these is the Church of St. Gereon, which, about this time (1212-27), added a new decagonal nave to its long, projecting choir, which was raised above a crypt, and flanked by two towers. This unusual form, which is evidently the result of the reten- tion of an ancient circular structure, presents a wreath of semi- circular chapels, surmounted by a gallery, entirely in the spirit of the other buildings in Cologne of the same epoch that have been already described. At the same time, a new order of architecture is indicated — the Gothic — in the regularly oc- curring windows with pointed arches, as well as in the simply massive arch and columns.

480 History of Art.

The neighborhood of Cologne is rich in monuments of the last epoch of the Romanesque. One of the most original in composition, and at the same time the most magnificent, is the Abbey of Heisterbach, situated in a green valley of the Sieben- gebirge. This abbey was destroyed in the beginning of the present century, and only exists now as a picturesque ruin. It was completed in 1233, and belonged to the order of the Cister- cians. Like all the best known institutions of this order, it possessed a very sharply-defined individuality. Especially the choir, ruins of which still remain, has the peculiarity of an aisle completely surrounding it, and separated from the main build- ing by a double row of columns ; while attached to the aisle was a series of semicircular chapels, considerably lower, and built into the thickness of the wall. The exterior of the build- ing thus presented the appearance of a pyramidal structure of several stories. An immense nave, with two transepts, and with rows of chapels opening on either side, extended from the imposing choir. The Minster at Bonn belongs to about the same time. It is no less grand, and is at the same time much richer in detail. The exterior produces a delightful im- pression, with its choir of an older date, its polygonal transepts, and its five towers.

Finally, the influence of the Romanesque style is distinguish- able in important buildings in the Middle-Rhine provinces. Such are the Parish Church of Gelnhausen, to the flat- roofed nave of which was added about this time a handsome choir, adorned with galleries and two slender towers ; and more par- ticularly the Cathedral of Limburg on the Lahn, consecrated in 1235, which is a superb example of the Rhenish transition epoch (Fig. 246). It is of very moderate dimensions, the whole length of the interior only measuring about a hundred and sixty-five feet, and the width of the nave being only twenty- five feet ; but the interior architecture is carried out with so much vivacity and spirit, that the Rhenish style finds in this church its most magnificent embodiment. The nave and choir

. Romanesque Architecture. — Westphalia. 48 1

are lighted by galleries and triforia, the choir even having a complete corridor about it ; while the exterior has two enormous west towers, a stately domed tower over the transept, and four slender spires at the ends of the arms of the cross.

t ij. 246. Cathedral at Liiiiburg.

As far as can be ascertained, vaulted buildings did not appear in the Westphalian and Saxon provinces ^ earlier than the last

1 W. Lubke: Die mittelalterliche Kunst in Westphalen. Leipzig, 1S53. '

482 History of Art.

decade of the twelfth century. All that is aimed at in these buildings is the simple embodiment of the useful : all needless ornamentation is done away with ; but a special attention is given to the disposition of the essentials of the structure, and particularly to the piers, in the arrangement of which as much variety and expression as possible is attempted. The Cathedral at Soest has vaultings in the Romanesque style added to the primitive fiat-roofed nave ; also a western vestibule belonging to the last epoch of this period, with an immense tower ; the whole eminently imposing. The transition period is also well represented by the restoration of the Osnabriick Cathedral, and still better by the Munster Cathedral, which was restored in 1225-61. Bold, wide arches, double transepts, and a gallery around the polygonal choir (the clere-story of which has a tri- forium), impart to the building a stately magnificence as simple as it is impressive.

An entirely different architectural system prevails in the other churches of Westphalia, the transepts being carried up to the full height of the nave, which thus loses its clere-story, and with it the means of lighting the nave independently; the whole assuming a hall-like character. The Minster at Herford and the Cathedral at Paderborn are the most famous of these hall-churches ; and the Church at Methler is the most attractive among them : the two latter retain a characteristic Westphalian arrangement in the rectangular choir.

In the Saxon provinces ' an excellent example of the blend- ing of vaulted roofs with the strict old basilica structure is the Brunswick Cathedral, a foundation of Henry the Lion, dating from the year 1171. This is of special interest, owing to its roomy crypt, and to the paintings on the vaulting of its choir and transept. In the neighboring Church of Konigsliitter (Fig. 247), which possesses one of the finest cloisters, very peculiarly arranged with a double corridor, the eastern portions, at least, were originally vaulted. The Cathedral at Naumburg, conse-

1 Consult the before-mentioned work of Von Puttrick.

Romanesque Architecture. — Bamberg. 483

crated in 1242, illustrates the transition period in its most artistic phase. It is an edifice of massive proportions, with two choirs and four towers ; characterized, moreover, by a superb Romanesque lectorium. The elaboration of details is here carried out with freedom and spirit. But the glorious Bamberg Cathedral attains to the perfection of the Romanesque transi- tion style of Germany as carried out in Prankish buildings,

Fig. 247. Cloister at Konigsliitter.

and blends in a climax of beauty the excellences of the Rhen- ish and the Saxon schools. The plan of this cathedral is mag- nificent, the proportions large and imposing, and yet with a noble freedom and lightness in its upper portions. Here are again two stately choirs, each flanked by a pair of superb tow- ers, the western choir distinguished by a spacious transept. The distinct divisions, the pure proportions, the bold elevation,

484 History of Art.

the rich decoration covering cornices and doors with a wealth of joyous and noble magnificence, give to this building a place in the foremost rank of the architectural creations of the mid- dle ages.

The Church of St. Michael at Altenstadt, in Bavaria, follows next, as a Romanesque building, among the vaulted structures of Southern Germany ; also the Cathedral of Freising, in which the imagination of the South German school developed an elaborate system of ornamentation. In Swabia, the Church at Ellwano-er ^ stands out as a handsome, vaulted columned basilica of the culminating period of Romanesque art : it is remarkable for a ground-plan exceptionally fine for South Germany, recalling certain Saxon churches, especially that at Konigsliitter. A choir, with crypts, side-choirs, and tran- septs, shut in by two towers, and surrounded by five apses and a western vestibule, above which rises a third tower, are the distinctive features of this noble structure, and without doubt may be referred back to Saxon prototypes. The Min- ster at Basle "^ is an important building in the style of the tran- sition period : it was enlarged in the Gothic period to a building with five naves. The polygonal choir with a gallery, and the triforia above the arcades of the nave, bear the unmistakable stamp of the later Romanesque period. The great Minster in Zurich is more severe, and of an earlier date, — before the end of the twelfth century ; but its more recent cloister displays far more wealth of composition and of eccentric ornamentation

(Fig. 248).

The system of vaulting began at a very early day among the churches of Alsatia, which present a group as attractive as remarkable, and represent German characteristics on the bor- ders of France.3 The Church of Ottmarsheim, in the severe

1 K. A. Busl : Die Stiftskirclie unci die Stiftsheiligen Ellwangers. Ravensburg, 1864.

2 For the Swiss buildings consult J. R. Rahn : Geschichte der bildenden Kunste in der Schweiz. Zurich, 1874-76.

8 On the architecture of Alsace consult Liibke and Lasius in the Allgemeine Bauzeitung,, i860 ; and VVoltmann in Lutzow's Zeitschr.ft. Vol. vii.

Romanesque Architecture. — Alsace.


style of the eleventh century, is a close copy of the Carlovin- gian Minster at Aix. The Abbey of Murbach, dating from the beginning of the twelfth century, is situated in a pleasant valley near Gebweiler. It has a rectangular choir and two east towers, and is distinguished by a genuine artistic, albeit severe, execution. The Church at Rosheim exemplifies a still further

Fig. 248. Cloister \\\ the Great Minster at Zurich.

Stage of development. It has round-arched, ribbed vaultings, supported by simple pillars, which alternate with robust columns. An octagonal tower rises from the transept, such as continually occurs in Alsatian edifices. The Fides Church at Schletstadt resembles this in treatment, except that the arches are pointed, and rest upon a row of piers ornamented

486 History of Art.

by engaged columns ; while, in the places of the intervening columns themselves, a pillar composed of four semi-columns is introduced. The arcades have pointed arches ; whereas every thing else about the building, especially the vaulting, is in round arches. On the west is a pretty vestibule between two towers : a third octagonal tower rises above the transept. The Church at Gebweiler has a similarly situated tower, except- ino- that it constitutes on the west side a picturesque open ves- tibule with three naves. In interior construction, this church recalls that at Schletstadt : its pillars, however, are more fully developed, and the pointed arch of the transition period pre- vails in the arcades and vaultings. The Church at Pfaffenheim has received the addition of a handsome choir of the same epoch. The Church at Maursmiinster offers a fine example of the vestibule that is such a favorite in Alsatia. It has also three stately towers, which impart a marked character to the excellently composed facade. The eastern portions and the immense transept of the Minster of Strasburg are creations of the Romanesque transition period ; to which epoch belong also the choir and transept of the Church of St. Stephen, the walls and west door of whose nave are all that now remain to us.

The last epoch of the Romanesque showed itself with espe- cial richness and pomp in the Austrian States, developing a splendor of imagination and a profusion of ornamentation which entitle the masterpieces of this group of structures to rank with the finest works produced by the Romanesque style. The fagade of the Church of St. Stephen in Vienna, with its splendid giant doorway, as well as the noble nave of the Church of St. Michael, date from this time. An important monument is the Cistercian Church at Heiligenkreuz ; distinguished, more- over, by a beautiful cloister : this is in severe but consistent vaulted Romanesque style ; the choir added to and enlarged at a later period. Another handsome church of this order at Lilienfeld belongs to this same period. Its vaulting, with the addition of the pointed arch, shows an advance to freer treat-

Romanesque Architecture. — Moravia. 48 7

ment ■ and its imposing choir has a surrounding aisle, considera- bly adding to its original design, and belonging to a later time. A cloister of greater richness heightens the effect of the whole plan. A third cloister, fully worthy to be compared with the two above mentioned, is that of the Cistercians at


Fig. 24q. Church at Trebitsch. Cross-Section.

Zwetl : it also belongs to the late Romanesque epoch. Two cloister churches in Moravia have also recently been made known, which develop new features in the splendid architectu- ral designs of the Austrian States. The Benedictine Abbey of Trebitsch has a church (Fig. 249) in which the style of

488 History of Art.

the transition period has produced surprising results by means of original conceptions. The pointed arch prevails in the arcades and vaultings : only on the doors and windows it alter- nates with the rounded arch. The vaultings of the choir are of polygonal shape, as well as a west vestibule with a gallery ; and the entire eastern space is, moreover, made especially noteworthy by an extended crypt. The frieze of the arch of the principal apse is an especial illustration of the rich and even lavish ornamentation of the whole building. The princi- pal door on the north side, however, has received the greatest profusion of decoration : it is round-arched, and broad rather than tapering, and with its sixteen pillars, with its archivolts and the angles of its piers richly covered with scroll and leaf ornamentation, one of the most magnificent efforts of the Romanesque style. Another Moravian edifice, the Cister- cian Nunnery at Tischnowitz, — completed about 1238, — is a specimen of the fully-developed transition style on a simple plan, and with the characteristic severity of execution peculiar to this order. However, a nobly-constructed cloister and a western portal belong to this building, which, in elegance of proportions, and in the profuse wealth of beautiful wreathings, far exceed the formal leaf-ornament and sculpture of the door- way of Trebitsch.

We find this superb style penetrating far into Hungary and Siebenbiirgen ; and only the mountain-line of the Transylvanian Alps has established a barrier between the Romanesque and the Byzantine art. The masterpiece of Hungarian architecture is the Church of St. Jak (compare Fig. 236), a vaulted building, thoroughly in the style of the transition epoch, of noble proportions, and whose richly-decorated west door (Fig. 250) compares in magnificence with the doors of Vienna, Trebitsch, and Tischnowitz, already mentioned, and surpasses them as to original design. The Cathedral at Carlsburg in Siebenbiirgen is in the simple, intelligible style of the monuments in Central Germany, such as the Cathedrals at Naumburg and Bamberg, with vaultings of noble proportions, and with its different parts admirably disposed and emphasized by appropriate decoration.

Fig. 250. Church of Jak.

The buildings of North-eastern Germany^ furnish a thor- oughly characteristic group. Long after Western, Southern, and Central Germany had reached a high plane of development, the Slavonic races inhabiting those provinces remained reso- lutely hostile to the Christian-Teutonic efforts at civilization.

1 F. V. Quast: Zur Charakteristik des alteren Ziegelbaues in der Mark Brandenburg. Deutsches Kunstblatt, 1830. F. Adler: Mittelalterliche Backsteinbauwerke des Preuss- ischen Staates. Folio. Berlin, 1859. Strack und Meyerheim : Denkmaler der Altmark. Ber- lin, 1833. Text by F. Kugler. A von Minutoli: Denkmaler mittelalterlicher Kunst in den brandenburgischen Marken. Berlin, 1836. F. Kugler : Pommer'sche Kunstgeschichte, in den kleinen Schriften. Vol. i. Stuttgart, 1853.

490 History of Art.

It was not until during the twelfth century that Christianity was fully established here, and a new way of life was opened through the influence of German colonists. The developed Romanesque style, then employed in the neighboring Saxon countries, was made use of in all works of architecture. How- ever, nature had not supplied the plateau of Northern Germany with stone ready for use ; and it was, therefore, necessary to make good the deficiency by a substitute, which was not with- out great influence upon the adaptation of the forms employed. At first the attempt was made to use, in building, blocks of granite scattered over the entire North-German plateau. But this extremely hard material was so difficult to work, that the results were clumsy and unpleasing ; and therefore recourse was had to bricks, with which the buildings were completed. But, inasmuch as the bricks could only be baked of moderate sizes, all imposing and vigorous finish of the different portions was prevented ; and hence the desire for artistic display was forced to take refuge in a system of flat ornamentation. A picturesque variety was frequently produced by the use of dif- ferently-colored glazed bricks. The buildings remained un- adorned exteriorly and internally, and simply in the rough finish of the material ; and the general effect of the calmer, more massive plan, and of the subdued coloring, was unusually impressive and dignified. There were changes also, however, in the details of the work. The columned basilica was now seldom used : the piered basilica was employed almost to the exclusion of the older style, and received a new expression throujrh the use of half-columns and other features. The bases were also simplified, and the capitals made suitable ; although it was a difficult matter to translate the cubic form into the clumsier character necessitated by the use of bricks. Some- times, to be sure, hewn stone was made use of for purposes of detail ; such finer, more spirited forms resulting therefrom as could be produced by the skilled chisel. The friezes and mouldings give a completeness to the cold surfaces of the

Roirianesque Architecture. — N. Eastern Germany. 491

exterior : these were fashioned either in the form of round arches, or else a frieze was used, designed in intersecting rounded arches. Occasionally there is a plain frieze con-

Fig. 251. Monastery Church of JericUow. From Adler.

structed of single bricks, arranged in triangular or else in rhomboidal patterns. Small consoles are also used in this connection ; and a pattern composed of small stones laid cor-

492 History of Art.

nerwise upon each other, in layers, is emp-loyed with good effect as a finish.

The Cloister Church at Jerichow in the Altmark (Fig. 251), is one of the best preserved and most characteristic in that region. It is a severely simple, flat-roofed [i.e., not vaulted. — Ed.\ columned basilica, with a lofty choir, and a large crypt with pillars of sandstone, having, at the sides of the choir, chapel-like spaces with apses ; the entire exterior excellently executed ; friezes and mouldings richly worked out ; the west building supported by two slender towers. Under the monas- tery is the splendid chapter-house and the still more magnificent refectory. The vaultings are supported upon richly-decorated sandstone pillars, which in the refectory have very elegantly finished capitals ; the whole in good preservation, in spite of rough treatment in modern times. The Cathedral of Branden- burg, with its crypt of hewn stone, is a plain pillared basilica, originally covered by a flat roof. The Cloister Church of Arendsee is a Romanesque vaulted building, consistently exe- cuted ; while the Ratzeburg Cathedral is tempered with the style of the transition period, and corresponds, to a certain extent, with the plan of the Brunswick Cathedral.


While in Germany there is a common central thought run- ning through all the creations of Romanesque architecture, no matter how varied its special development, in Italy,' on the other hand, a very marked divergence distinguishes the several groups. We find a most decided adoption of the ancient Chris- tian basilica, side by side with an equally positive leaning to

1 Denkmiiler (k'r Kunst, plates 41, 42. S. d'Agincoiirt : Histoirede I'Art. 6 vols. Folio. Paris, 1811-23. H. C5ally Knight: Ecclesiastical Architecture of Italy. 2 vols. London, 1842-44. Chapuy : Italia monumentale et pittoresque. Folio. Paris, 1830. J. Burckhardt : Der Cicerone. 3 vols. Leipzig, 1874. [Translated into English by Mrs. A. H. Clough. A valuable book. London, 1873. The Guide-Book of Dr. Gsell-Fels, with its useful wood- cuts and abundant information, must not be forgotten. See also G. E. Street: Brick and Marble Architecture in Middle A.^es. London, 1S55.I

Romanesque ArcJii lecture. — Rome. 493

Byzantine models. Side by side with works in which the antique style is delicately wrought out, we come upon one allied to the German character in its brighter fancies. Beside a clearly-defined vaulted building, we even chance upon an imitation of the capricious richness and grace of Mohammedan architecture. But, with few exceptions, Italian architecture separates the tower from the church-building, and gives it an independent position. Almost as universally, a dome is raised above the transept, which gives the building externally a foreign air. Although the exterior does not attain to that high degree of richness of proportion as in the architecture of the North, on the other hand the lavish employment of costly materials results in an extraordinarily beautiful style of ornament, which takes the form of a graceful system of surface-decoration. Even where bricks are used, a degree of beauty and delicacy of detail is produced with them that is unknown and unattained in the North. The treatment of the interior seeks to preserve broad open spaces ; a fact which generally excludes the attain- ment of great height.

The Roman buildings ' far into the thirteenth century ex- hibit an absolute, unshaken adherence to the style of the ancient Christian basilica, without even a suggestion of further development. The ancient monuments were stripped right and left, and the columns and architrave of the basilica were con- structed out of the spoils. The proportions of the buildings were reduced, and the height increased as the breadth dimin- ished. San Martino ai Monti dates from the ninth century, with its primitive crypt : its nave has been restored throughout, but is still of fine, elegant proportions ; the centre of the nave being forty feet wide, with an architrave above the columns. Then there is the magnificent, five-naved Church of San Gio- vanni in Laterano, and the stately Church of Santa Maria in Araceli, on the hill of the Capitol. San Crisagono and Santa

1 See Guttensohn and Knapp : Denkmale der christlichen Religion. Folio. Rome, 1822. Text by C Bunsen : Die Basiliken de christlichen Roms.

494 History of Art.

Maria in Trastevere belong to the twelfth century, both with architraves surmounted by exquisite console-cornices; also the front portions of San Lorenzo fuori le Mura, likewise with horizontal entablature, and with columns differing greatly in their proportions. The Church of SS. Vincenzo and Anas- tasio, outside the city, beyond St. Paolo,' is a rude pier-structure. But more interesting than these echoes of a bygone period, without any intrinsic individuality, are some of the graceful bell-towers of that age, which, simply built up into steeples, and decorated with all manner of antique remains, are in the highest degree picturesque. The most attractive of these are the towers of Santa Pudenziana and of Santa Maria in Cosmedin.

Although architecture in general made little progress here, a particular branch of decorative art arose, the chief attraction of which consisted in tastefully harmonizing these bits of bright- colored marble, of which the ground of ancient Rome possessed an inexhaustible supply. The artist family of the Cosmati especially distinguished itself in this kind of work : and the principal ancient Roman churches, in their choir-railings, am- boncs or pulpits, tabernacles, candelabra, and other objects, contain specimens of this elegant art ; for instance, SS. Nero ed Achilles, San Clemente, Santa Maria in Cosmedin. A fan- tastic, grotesque element is perceivable in the yielding of the sterner architectural forms to an unrestrained play of fancy. The shafts of the columns are heavily ribbed, and assume spiral forms, and are decorated with patterns in mosaic of the' gayest description. You discover similar characteristics, upon a larger

[1 See Baedeker, Italy, part ii. p. 263, edition 1869, English translation; and a cut, show- ing half-elevation and half-section, in Fergusson's Hand-Book, &c., vol. i. p. 493. There are two churches in Rome dedicated to these saints, — one a modern building within the city (Regione di Trevi): the other the one referred to by Llibke, at some distance beyond the walls. It is the largest of three churches built at a place called Abbadia delle tre Fontane (Abbey of the Three Springs), — a name derived from three springs, which are said to have welled forth when the apostle Paul was here executed, and his head was observed to make three distinct leaps. The Church of SS. Vincenzo ed Anastasio is said to have been founded by Pops Honorius I. (6?5-38) ; and was restored, as an inscription in the church records, in 1221, by Honorius III. (1216-27).]

Romanesque Architecture. — Tuscany. 495

scale, in the columned courts of the cloisters of San Giovanni in Laterano and San Paolo fuori le Mura, where this style is exhibited in exceptional richness of execution.

Church-architecture in Tuscany took a freer and more inde- pendent direction ; having its origin likewise in the flat-roofed basilica, but understanding how to carry out the structure con- sistently, down to its smallest details, rigidly, according to antique models. The entire execution of the work was in costly material, or else it was adorned with rare varieties of marble. The first magnificent work of this kind is the Duomo of Pisa, begun in 1036, after a naval victory over the Sicilians by this commercial city, then rapidly coming into prominence. Busketus and Reinaldus are mentioned as the architects. It is a five-naved, flat-roofed basilica, intersected by an extended three-aisled transept, of which the middle spaces end in apses, whilst a dome crowns the intersection of the transept and the nave. Galleries above the side-naves open with pillars and columns towards the high central nave, and are continued on the side of the square (the intersection of nave and transept) as far as the beginning of the choir. The arcades of the naves are supported upon sixty-eight slender granite columns with antique marble capitals. The details are all rigidly classical. The main body of the building, both internally and externally, is built with alternate layers of white and dark-green marble. The exterior presents a rich massing of half-columns and pilas- ters, with either arcades or architraves, as most in keeping with the different parts. The spandrels of the arches are chiefly decorated with graceful designs in gay mosaic patterns, and with fine ornaments modelled on the antique : the capitals are carefully copied from Corinthian models. The lower part of the facade is divided by engaged columns with arches : above these, however, are four rows of open arcades, full columns with arches, which are extended across the surface of the wall in the form of galleries, with fine effect. To this magnificent building — which gave a new dignity to the basilica form, and

496 History of Art.

endeavored to heighten it, though in a rather labored way, by the addition of a dome — there was added in 1153 a Baptistery (also a domed structure, ninety-three feet diameter, with a cor- ridor and galleries) by Diotisalvi. Its exterior is elegantly proportioned, having a row of columns below, and a gallery above. The original roofing of the dome gives it a most effec- tive appearance, which is further increased by the rich later decoration of Gothic gables and accessories. There is also a Campanile, begun in 1174 by Bonannus and by a German artist, William of Innsbruck, the leaning attitude of which was probably caused in the first place by the foundations giv- ing way, but afterwards retained from caprice.' This is a

[1 " The dispute over the question whether the inclination of the tower was given to it inten- tionally from the first has never been settled. The common opinion is, that, when the build- ing had reached the third story, the ground sank. They then boldly attempted the building of the five remaining stories by scientifically throwing the weight on the opposite side. This opinion is based on the observation, that, in the three lower stories, the galleries are sloping, whereas, in the upper galleries, the columns and arches on the side opposite the incline are erect- and that other buildings in the neighborhood are also out of the perpendicular. Those who take the other side in the discussion bring forward the facts, that the leaning is already . visible in the thres lower stories ; that, in tlie windows of these lower stories, there is an attempt to bring them to the perpendicular; that many parts of the building (for example, the architraves) are out of line; that a very evident downward pressure can be observed in the steps, and in the bands of the columns on the inclined side; finally, that no contemporary documents mention the sinking of the ground, and that the carrying on of so expensive a building on so insecure a site would have been a grosser example of pride, and delight in strangeness, than the original design of a leaning tower itself." — Dr. Gsell-Fels : Obcr- Ilalicn, 2d ed., vol. ii. p. 1366. Leipzig, 1875. An able and learned article on the subject, founded on a careful study and measurement of the building itself by the writer, Mr. W. H. Goodyear, will be found in Scribner's Monthly Magazine for August, 1874, New York. It must be remembered, in studying this subject, that leaning towers are by no means uncommon in Italy; and that the one in Pisa, although the largest, and, architecturally, the most impor- tant, is not the oldest. The two leaning towers of Bologna — the Asinelli and the Gari- senda, named after their builders — were founded, the first in 1109, the second in mo. The Asinelli is the higher of the two ; but it did not reach its present altitude of two hundred and seventy-two feet all at once : and it does not deviate so much from the perpendicular as its neighbor (for they are side by side), being only three feet four inches out; whereas the Gari- senda, with only a height of a hundred and thirty-eight feet, is eight feet out of line toward the south, and three feet toward the east. Now, the Pisan Tower, begun in 1130, and completed in 1350, is a hundred and fifty-one feet high, and thirteen feet out of the perpen- dicular. Dante has made the Garisenda famous above all other leaning towers by the mag- nificent use he makes of it in his Inferno. When the giant Antaus stoops to lift Dante and

Renaissance Architecture. — Lucca.


high cyhndrical building, encircled from top to bottom with open arcades with columns, and illustrating in all its details the classical tendencies of the Pisan school.

Fig. 252. San Micchele. Lucca.

This Pisan style was adopted in neighboring places ; for

Virgil in his hands to set them down in the frozen circle, Dante says, " Such as the Garisenda seems to view beneath the leaning side when a cloud is going over it, so that it hangs opposed, such Antseus seemed to me, who stood attent to see him bend ; and, at the time, I should have wished to goby other road." — /«/er« (7, xxxi. 136, Carlyle's translation. London, 1S49. Dr. Carl vie says in a note, that " the tower was much higher in Dante's time than it is now." But no one who has stood beneath it, and seen the clouds moving over it as Dante saw them, ever wshed it higher. After all, Goethe, with his clear common sense, gives, perhaps, the best explanation of these singular buildings: "Everybody wished to signalize himself by building a tower ; and as, at last, perpendicular towers became too every-day, they built them leaning. And both the builder and his patron accomplished their end : for nobody looks at the crowd of slender, perpendicular towers ; but we all seek out the leaning ones."]

498 History of Art.

example, in the buildings of Lucca, which are of analogous plan, especially in the execution of the exterior and the treat- ment of the facade, although more odd and fantastic. Of these, San Micchele is especially noteworthy (Fig. 25 2), ^ and also, although on a smaller scale, San Frediano, a five-naved basilica, with many suggestions of the antique.

The Florentine buildings constitute an especial group, dis- tinguished by a particularly fine coating of marble, and an equally original development of the basilica plan. The little Church of San Miniato, charmingly situated on a height above the city, and dating from the twelfth century, is the most at- tractive of all. In spite of its limited dimensions, it is the most striking memorial of the art of this epoch, both as regards originality of plan and thoroughness of execution. A pier composed of four half-columns- alternates with two columns ; the piers supporting two great arches that span the nave and aisles,^ as we have already seen it in St. Prassede's in Rome (ante, pp. 349. 35o). Here, however, this arrangement accords better with the prevailing style, and the proportions of the interior thus receive a most spirited effect. The choir is brought into prominence by a fine crypt. The facade, with its marble front, its lower row of engaged columns with arcades, its upper pilasters with entablatures, is in the severest and noblest classic style. It is a renaissance before the Renaissance. We find the same dignity of design in the Baptistery (Fig. 253), — an effective octagonal domed buildino-, eighty-eight feet in diameter, with five Corinthian columns around the walls, and a gallery above, which opens

[1 A spirited drawin- lay Mr. Ruskin of a portion of one of the arcades of the interesting facade of this buildin- will be found in the Seven Lamps of Architecture, plate vi. The drawing can only be judged in the English edition. Smith, Elder, & Co. 1849.]

^ That is, engaged columns, not standing free, but attached, pilaster-like, to the pier.

[3 Fergusson, Hand-Book of Architecture, vol. i. pp. 500, 501, gives a plan and section of San Miniato, which make this description clear ; but the engraving in Gsell-Fels' Guide Unter-Italien — showing the interior of San Niccolo at Bari (p. 571), where there is a similar arrangement of two great transverse arches — will be found mure convincing.]

Renaissance Architecture. — Sicily and Lower Italy. 499

upon the interior through Ionic arches between Corinthian pilasters. Every thing here bears a character even more dis- tinctly classical ; so that the treatment of the whole building may be referred to the same epoch.


Fig. 253. Baptistery at Florence.

In strong contrast with this massive, distinct architecture, are the buildings of Sicily ^ and Lower Italy, which embody a

1 Duca di Serradifalco : Del Duomo di Monreale, &c. Folio. Palermo, 1838. H. Gaily Knight: Saracenic and Norman Remains in Sicily. Folio. London, no date. Hit- torf et Zanth : Arcliitecture moderne de la Sicile. Folio. Paris, 1835.


Histojy of Art.




\; •:*

lively imagination and a curious blending of different forms. These states were, for a long time, under Byzantine domina- tion ; after which they attained a high state of culture under Mohammedan rule. In the course of the eleventh century the Normans conquered them, and came into the inheritance of this mixed civilization, to which they added elements of their own. The plans of the churches bear a resemblance to the ancient Christian basilica. The dome over the transept, the mosaics, and other ornaments, were taken from the Byzan- tines ; the Arabians contributed the elevated pointed arch and the stalactite vaultings ; finally, the Northern spirit usually suggested a tower for the facade. There resulted, from this

mixture of foreign ele- ments, a whole, which atones for all lack of lofty, individual devel- opment, by power of imagination, lavish orna- ment, and an effect of solemnity.

The Castle Chapel of Palermo is a little gem of this architectural style, built by King Roger, and consecrated in 1040. The mosaics on the walls, the costly ornaments, the gayly painted and gilded ceil- iuirs with their stalactite vaultings, shine out in wonderful splendor from a mystic half-light. The Cathedral of Palermo (built 1169-85) is an especially fine exam- ple of exterior decoration, consisting of painted patterns, inter-


Fig. 254. Apse of tlie Cathedrnl at Palermo.

Renaissance Architecture. — Lozver Italy. 501

secting arches, rich friezes and battlements (Fig. 254), producing a gay, fantastic effect. Its fine tower also makes it noteworthy. But the Cloister Church of Monreale, built by King William II. in 1 1 74, and magnificently situated upon a cliff not far from Palermo, shows the most splendid conception of all. The ground-plan (compare Fig. 226) is that of a three-naved church of colossal proportions, with a transept, and a wider choir with three apses. Slender, antique marble columns with superb capitals support the lofty pointed arches of the nave, which is covered by a flat roof of a later period, and remarkable for its height. The entire surface of the walls is covered by an inex- pressibly profuse mass of mosaic pictures, as though with costly tapestries. In nobility of proportions, distinctness, and har- mony, and in lavish wealth of coloring, this interior produces one of the finest church-effects in the world. The facade is bordered by two towers, connected by a columned hall. The Duomo at Cefalu shows similar features.

The Moorish influence is most distinctly traceable among the buildings of Lower Italy,^ especially in the employment of lofty arches, both round and pointed. An instance of this is the large, almost square porch of the Cathedral of Salerno, where Corinthian columns are connected by elevated round arches. Only the extensive crypt of the old duomo remains in its an- cient condition. The Cathedral at Amalfi has a picturesque double-aisled porch with peculiar painted arch-window, and with a high, irregular flight of steps. The Cathedral at Ravello, situated above Amalfi, on a steep, rocky height, exhibits the ancient basilica character in spite of modern restoration. All three duomos have in common the original — evidently primitive — arrangement of a wide transept. The simple basilica style prevails for the most part in these countries, although in con- tracted forms. The exteriors, however, are sometimes richly decorated, testifying to Tuscan influences. The Cathedrals at Bari, Ruvo, Trani, and especially the splendid Troja Duomo, are

1 H. W. Schulz: Denkmaler der Kunst des Mittelalten in Unter-Italien. Dresden, iS6o.

502 History of Art.

the most important of these buildings. The Cathedrals of Bi- tonto, Bitetto, and Molfetta, also deserve mention.^

Most of these churches contain splendid decorations in the same spirit shown by the works of the Cosmati, although en- riched and brightened by a mixture of Arabic ornamentation. There are a very rich pulpit, choir-railings, and candelabra, in the Cathedral at Sessa ; an extremely sumptuous pulpit in the Cathedral of Ravello ; a pulpit no less rich, and recalling the antique in the most admirable manner, in the Cathedral of Salerno ; and, to conclude, the superb canopies above the sar- cophagi of King Roger II., of the Emperor Frederick II., of the Emperor Henry VI., and their consorts, in the Cathedral at Palermo, all severely antique in treatment.

We come upon a different manifestation of foreign influence, although related in kind, in Venice.^ The bold Venetian sailor- merchants found their way to the East at a very early period, and returned laden not only with Oriental productions, but also bringing back with them Oriental art, and love of display. The masterpiece of Venetian architecture, San Marco, the costly church of the patron saint of the city, is a direct product of the influences of Byzantine architecture. The church, which con- tained the bones of the revered saint, was burned in the year 976, at the time of an insurrection, but was rebuilt with greater magnificence : the main part, however, was not completed till 107 1 ; and its costly decorations were added and perfected in the course of the following centuries. The church is in the form of a Greek cross, ^ of which the corners and intersection are marked by five domes. These are forty-two feet in diame-

fi Useful woodcuts, plans, elevations, and details of many of the buildings just men- tioned, are accessible in Fergusson's Hand-Book, vol. i. ; and in Cisell-Fels" Chiide, Unter- Italien, wliere are the best descriptions.]

2 G. e L. Krutz : La Basilica di San Marco in Venezia. Folio. 1843. O. Mothes : Ge- schichte der Baukunst und Bildhauerei Venedigs. Leipzig, 1858. [John Ruskin : The Stones of Venice. 2 vols. London, 1851-53.]

[3 The reader will find a plan of San Marco in Fergusson : Iland-Book of Architecture, vol. i.]

Romajiesque Aj'chitedure. — San Marco. 503

ter, and as high again from the ground ; the central dome being six feet higher from the ground than the others. These domes are enframed, as it were, by wide arches supported by piers standing free. The main building and the transept, as a result, have three naves ; a division which is still more distinctly marked by rows of columns. These columns support a gallery

Sail Marco. Venice.

which is thrown across the side-space. The naves and tran- septs both end in apses, which are further broken up into niches ; the principal apse alone appearing from the exterior. The result is a harmoniously-constructed, centralized building, which testifies to its Byzantine origin, not only in all charac- teristic details, but also in the decoration of the arches with rich pictures in mosaic upon a bright gold background.

The lower pillars and surfaces of the walls are inlaid with

504 Histo7^y of Art.

great marble slabs of different colors. The impression given by this subdued pomp is most imposing, toned down as it is to a solemn dignity ; and it has, besides, a picturesque charm in its various vistas.

There is a round porch, richly decorated with mosaics, cover- ing the entire front, the right wing of which is bounded by two chapels. The exterior of the vestibule opens (Fig. 255) with a row of deep niches, the walls of which rest upon a perfect forest of small columns. What with the myriad-rounded tur- rets with their later Gothic pinnacles, the five lofty domes, the rich decorations in gold and in colors, that cover every part, the effect of the whole is like that of some magic structure risen from the sea, or some Eastern enchantment; and, with the historic associations that cluster about it, it produces an intense poetic effect u]:ion the mind of the observer. There are other buildings on the Venetian lagunes, resembling this in style, although of more modest proportions.

We have still to consider a numerous and important archi- tectural group, which, unlike the other Italian schools, was more directly affected by the Northern spirit, and, by its adop- tion of the vaulted basilica, is allied to the tendencies of the Romanesque architecture on the other side of the Alps. I refer to the works of the Lombards,' and of the states be- longing to them, which, in the beginning of the middle ages, were under the rule of the Longobards, who especially inclined to Germanic manners and customs : hence arises that common impulse in the details of these buildings towards the abrupt and the fantastic, which is so sharply opposed to the gentler treatment of the Central Italians, based upon antique models. The use of bricks preponderates, necessitating a massive treat- ment, but inducing at the same time a rich surface-decoration. Occasionally a marble ornamentation is used. The tower is, however, omitted from the construction of the facade, in spite

1 F. Osten: Die Bauwerke derLombardei. Folio. Paris, 1847. H eider und Eitelberger : Uenkmale des oesterreichischen Kaiserstaates. 2 vols. Stuttgart, 1857-59.

Romanesque Architecture. — Cathedral at Modena. 505

of the frequent suggestions of the Northern manner ; but it is frequently attached as a piece of decoration to the nave, and this in such a way, that the relation of the lower side-naves to the higher middle space is lost sight of. This form is certainly

Fig. 256. Cathedral at Modena.

as clumsy as ill-proportioned, and is far surpassed in artistic merit by another prevalent at the same time, which assumes as a fundamental principle the relation between the side-naves

5o6 History of Art. »

and the middle nave, and proceeds to define it by lisenes,^ wall- columns, arch-friezes, and arcades.

The Cathedral at Modena holds an important position among these structures. It was begun in 1099 by Master Lanfrancus, but only consecrated in 1184. It has a main building with three naves, without a transept, but with three apses ; an ex- tended crypt beneath the choir ; and the whole arrangement of the supports calculated for a vaulted building, so that simple columns alternate with piers with engaged columns (compare Fig. 230). Still the upper wall of the nave exhibits a freer arrangement, with triforium-like openings, with small columns occurring over the single arcades. These, however, serve neither as galleries, nor as passages surrounding the nave, but they rest upon the moderately-high side-aisles, which have similar blind triforia in the walls built upon tlic supporting arches thrown across them. The construction of the exterior is especially marked : it is encircled by open galleries, the arrangement of which suggests the inner triforia (Fig. 256).- Especially on the faqade, which is distinctly divided into three portions, this gallery plays an important part in the composition of the whole. Three doors open into the nave, the middle one with a little porch, such as are usual in the churches of Northern Italy, the columns of which rest upon enormous lions.3 The rich wheel-window of the upper part is also a favorite design of Lombard architecture.

[1 Lisenes, — flat pilaster-like projections from the exterior wall, employed in Romanesqie architecture. They are not buttresses ; nor do they seem to play any important constructive part in the building, but only serve to break up the monotony of the wall-surface, and perhaps indicate the number and position of the bays in the interior. They are often connected below the cornice by a frieze.]

[2 For a view of the entrance-front of the Cathedral at Moden?, see Gsell-Fels' Ober-Italien,

ii. p. 932.]

[3 " And stern and sad (so rare the smiles Of sunlight) looked the Lombard piles;

Porch-pillars on the lion resting, And sombre, old, colonnaded aisles."

Tennyson : Lines to a Daisy.]

Romanesque ArcJiitecture. — Italy. 507

Of a somewhat similar plan is San Zeno in Verona ; only that here the vaulting referred to above, with which the alternating columns and pillars were connected, is not employed. We have an example of the piered building, with its different divis- ions fully developed, in San Micchele at Pavia, — a clumsily substantial, vaulted basilica, with fantastic, eccentric details, galleries above the side-naves, and an undivided fagade-gable. San Ambrogio at Milan is equally important, closely resem- bling the last-named church, also with an undivided gable, in front of which there is an extensive atrium. This latter ex- hibits the piers constructed with engaged columns, and with cross-vaultings in a well-developed Romanesque style, which belongs at the earliest to the eleventh century, — a fact also shown by the details. The nave has also piers with engaged columns and cross-vaults of wide span, with galleries above the side-naves : there is the same heaviness in the proportions, and the sam_e character of Northern energy in the details, which are observable in the pronounced Romanesque forms. In front of the choir there is a vaulted dome, although there is no tran- sept. Finally, the Cathedral at Padua, restored 11 17, expresses the vaulted architecture of Germany in a freer, more elevated, and more consistent manner. This building has a well-defined ground-plan, with an extended transept elevated by a dome, and with apses not only at the fagades of the wings, as is the case with the Pisa Cathedral, but also on the eastern side of the wings. The piers are numerous, but constructed alternately with engaged columns. Above the arcades are the galleries, which give upon the central nave by triforium-like openings. The division of the vaulting into wide square spans has been abandoned, and narrow rectangular divisions have been sub- stituted. The facade, ending in an unbroken gable, is superbly decorated, and has three rich portals resting upon lions.

5o8 History of Art.


In France, also, we are met by a spirited variety of architect- ural structures, which, taking the Romanesque as their start- ing-point, afford a further proof of the variety of which this style is capable. A devotion to classical forms, which surpasses even that of Italy, is, however, apparent in this country, rich in antique traditions as it is. Not only details of decoration, but also the main features of construction, are borrowed from the Romans ; and at a very early stage the flat-roofed basilica yields to vaultings, cylindrical or domed, the construction of which was carried on more symmetrically and consistently in France than in any other country. The magnificent buildings of Ro- man antiquity, still well preserved, probably gave the first impetus to this tendency, which the intelligent, practical spirit of the French people proceeded to emphasize and develop. But several schools contend for superiority upon this ground, and the contrast between the peculiarities of the North and South is especially conspicuous.

It is in Southern France^ that we find the almost universal adoption of the tunnel-vault. This is so combined with the basilica form, that it covers the central nave throughout the whole length of the main building ; while half-tunnel vaults are employed for the transept, which receive the thrust of the tun- nel-vaults of the nave like unbroken buttresses, and lean

1 Denkmaler der Kunst, plate 43. Baron Taylor : Voyage pittoresqiie et archeologique dans rancienne France, — a noble work, full of rich material. 18 vols. Large folio. Paris, 1820. Chapuy : Cathedrales fran^aises. i vol. Paris, 1824-30. By the same author: Moyen Age pittoresque, 5 vols., Paris, 1836-40; and Moyen Age monumental, 4 vols., Paris, 1843-46. A. de Laborde : Monumens de la France. 2 vols. Paris, 1816-36. Du Sommerard : Les Arts du Moyen .4ge. 6 vols. Folio. Text, 5 vols. Paris, 1838-46. [The Guide-Books to France, edited by Adolphe Joanne, under the general title Itineraire general de la France (Hachette & Co., Parish will be found of service, being full and trustworthy. If they were as well illustrated, they would be to France what the Guide of Gsell-Fels is to Italy.] Viollet-le-Duc : Dictionnaire raisonne de I'Arcliitecture frangaise. 10 vols. Paris, 1858-68. [Consult, especially in this last-cited work, the article Cathedrale.]

2 Henri Kevoil : Architecture romane du Midi dc la France. Folio. Paris, 1S64

Romanesque Architecture. — Southern France. 509

against the strong exterior walls. The ground-plan of the basilica was retained through this arrangement ; but an essen- tial feature of its artistic development, the beautiful light pour- ing down from the upper windows in the high walls of the middle nave, was irretrievably lost. The column-system disap- peared with this construction, and was replaced by a system of strong piers. Generally, strengthening arches sprang from the piers to the vaulting. Occasionally, galleries were carried around the side-naves, upon the cross-vaultings, and were roofed with half-tunnel vaults. The choir, as a rule, was enlarged by a transept, and was also often further beautified by a low sur- rounding aisle opening into chapels, — a distinctive feature of French architecture. Columns are also employed as dividing supports. The details of the work are generally copied from the antique, frequently with a richer treatment : the exterior receives a marked effect of height through the addition ot towers to the facade or to the transept.

This style has been most consistently and nobly carried out in Provence and Dauphine. The Cathedral of Avignon, an important example, has a spirited system of piers, and a beau- tiful side-door, after the antique. The Church of S. Gilles, as well as the Cathedral of S. Trophime at Aries, has doors that are equally magnificent, in the same strictly antique fashion. Here is introduced a pointed form of the tunnel vault, which, from the twelfth century, disputed the sway with the round arch in this group of edifices. Farther on, we come upon one of the most magnificent illustrations of this style in the Church S. Sernin, or S. Saturnin, begun towards the end of the elev- enth century, at Toulouse (Fig. 257). This is an immense five-naved basilica, with a three-aisled transept, and with gal- leries carried above the side-aisles, which open through columns towards the main building. A surrounding aisle and five radiat- ing apses complete the choir : each transept terminates, besides, in an apse ; so that the building contains nine recesses of this description. This glorious composition culminates in a slender


History of Art.

tower, which rises above the transept, and emphasizes the beau- tiful central plan of the eastern portion of the building.

The same style prevails in Auvergne, w'here, however, a new

Fig. 257. S. Serniu. Toulouse.

element of beauty is added to the exterior decoration by the use of an ornamentation of colored stones in mosaic patterns. The Church of Notre Dame du Port, at Clermont, is one of the

Romanesque Architecture. — Btir gundy. 5 1 1

most remarkable works of this group, and is a model in its way, with its distinct and spirited development of piers, its galleries opening out through columns, and its elaborate choir (Fig. 258).

The most magnifi- cent of the Burgundian buildings, which gen- erally belong to this category, was the Ab- bey Church of Cluny, the mother-cloister of the powerful order of Cluny, destroyed dur- ing the revolution. It was altogether one of the most remarkable of Romanesque monu- ments. It was in pro- cess of building from 1089 to 1 131, and it

splendidly manifested the power of the mighty order by which it was erected in the forms of this grandly-developed style. The five-naved main building was four hundred and ten feet long, without reckoning the narthex, or ante-church, which was a hundred and ten feet in length ; and it had a total breadth of a hundred and ten feet. Two transepts with ten apses extended the choir, which was completed by a corridor with five chapels. Besides the stately chief tower on the larger transept, there were six other towers ; so that the exterior of the church was most imposing. The Cathedral of Autun, be- gun in 1 132, should be included among the works still extant, and is one of the most remarkable of the number. It has pointed tunnel-vaulting, and a triforium decorated in the style of the ancient Porte d'Arroux, in the same town. Fluted pilas- ters are used here, and are a favorite device in many other struc- tures of Southern France.

Fig. 258. Notre Dame du Port at Clermont. Cross-Section.

512 History of Art.

This same marked Romanesque style is also universally- adopted in French Switzerland.^ The churches of Granson on Lake Neufchatel, and of Payerne, are examples. A curious element, however, is introduced into the elaboration of details, — half baroque, half barbaric, in its fantastic characteristics, — of which the Church of Notre Dame de Valere at Sion is a conspicuous example.

The western provinces of France'^ exhibit a group of edifices, the common feature of which is a dome, in the Byzantine style ; although they adhere, at the same time, to other forms used in the south. These domes are raised on pendentives, above a moulded cornice, in the antique style ; in which respect they differ from those Romanesque domes which have already been treated of. This form is generally associated with a main building which has no transept, and which is divided by piers at wide intervals, serving as archivolts. The side-walls are enlivened by columned mock-arcades, and broken up, in the upper spaces, by windows with round arches : as a rule, the cross-springers have pointed vertices. The Cathedrals of Cahors and of Angouleme are after this pattern. But thc Church of S. Front, at Perigueux,^ is the most remarkable building of this group, because the dome style is united with a ground-plan which is not only in arrangement, but also in proportions, the exact imitation of S. Marco in Venice (Fig. 259), with the difference that the piers are more massive, the columns and upper galleries are wanting, the spanning-arches are pointed, and the whole interior, owing to a poverty of orna- mentation, appears bald and bare. Besides all this, the great vestibule is altogether omitted, the remains of an older struc- ture taking its place. The existing church appears to have

1 Blavignac : Histoire de I'Arcliitecture sacree, &c. Paris, 1853. Also the contributions of J. R. Rahn to the Transactions of the Antiquarian Society of Zurich ; and, the same au- thor's, Geschichte der bildenden Kiinste in der Schweiz. Zurich, 1874-76.

[2 Fergusson, Hand-Book, vol. i., will be found useful in relation to French architecture. His account is well arranged, and amply illustrated.]

3 F. de Verneilh: L' Architecture byzantine en France. Paris, 1851.

Romanesque Architecture. — Northern France. 5 1 3

been erected after a fire, which occurred in 11 20. It would be difficult to guess why just here St. Mark's should have been taken for a model.

Fig. 259. S. Front, at Perigiieux.

The last important group of French architectural productions which we have to consider belongs to the North, and especially to Normandy.^ The hardy, bold Norman race, which planted itself firmly in this region of France in the beginning of the tenth century, knew how to impress upon its monuments the stamp of a severe regularity, a simple, distinct fundamental

1 H. Gaily Knight : Architectural Tour in Normandy. London, 1836. Britton and Pugin: Architectural Antiquities of Normandy. London, 1828.

514 History of Art.

design, and consistent execution. When their wealth in- creased, and their national importance rose, after the conquest of England in 1066, the monuments of the Normans shared also in the improvements occasioned by these advantages ; and henceforth we find the vaulted structure in the striking form of the cross-vault in combination with the basilica. At the same time, after the fashion of the Saxon churches, two boldly springing towers are connected with the structure of the facade, with the further addition, as a rule, of a massive square tower to the transept. The ornamentation is simple and uninterest- ing, inclining to a playing with lines rather than to the employ- ment of vegetable forms, and showing a special predilection for the meander, the rhomboid, the zigzag, and the checkered pattern. In the latter epochs this style of decoration is often brilliantly effective, covering large surfaces on the doors, the arcades, and the walls of the clere-story.

The two chief monuments of this architectural style are the Cloister Churches of St. Trinite and St. Etienne, at Caen, founded by William the Conqueror and his queen, both of which are complete exemplifications of the development of the vaulted basilica with piers. St. Trinit(i, originally founded in 1064, but possibly not having been perfected in its present form before the twelfth century, is a basilica vaulted throughout, its plan of three naves being continued beyond the transept into the choir. Distinct and regular as is the development offered by this design, it yet rejects the more opulent and ornamental chapel-arrangement of the Southern school. The clere-story above the arcades is enlivened by a gallery, along which occur windows connected likewise by rows of columns. The great cross-vaults of the main nave are hexagonal, whilst arch-sup- ports spring likewise from the intermediate piers. The same style, after a severer type, appears also in the Church of St. Etienne, built 1066-77, but completed at a somewhat later date. The arrangement of the ground-plan is similar; but the choir was subsequently supplanted by an early Gothic

Romanesque Architecture. — Normandy. 5 1 5

renovation. The vaultings of the main nave are hexagonal, possibly not following the original intention. A gallery is carried above the side-nave, opening towards the main space

Fig. 260. St. Etienne. Caen.

with wide arcades. The upper windows are connected by a special gallery in this case also. The exterior is adorned in a

5 1 6 History of Art.

stately fashion by a low tower above the transept, and two slender towers on the fagade, the upper parts of which are very delicately proportioned (Fig. 260). The division of the fagade by leaning buttresses is simple but comprehensive, and in harmony with the interior development. Three portals at this point serve as means of ingress.


With the conquest of England by Duke William, the Nor- man style began to predominate to the exclusion of the old Saxon mode of architecture. The new architecture of the country adopted, however, certain elements of the earlier epoch into its system, thereby acquiring a quite special national color- ino-. The use of wood in building, especially, popular as it had been among the island-folk of a former day, was, undoubt- edly, the most important of these elements, and henceforth came into play in the flat roofing of the basilica naves. This national predilection was so strong, that the main buildings of the churches were invariably roofed with wood ; so that not a single vaulted middle nave is known in the whole range of English architecture of this period. A comparison of the vaulted design of the basilica, so decidedly developed in Nor- mandy, sharpens the contrast offered by the Anglo-Norman architecture, notwithstanding that all other parts of the build- ing harmonize exactly with the Norman system, even to the point of seeming to require the vaulted roof. Next in order we notice the extremely massive piers of the nave, which, however, degenerating from the Romanesque practice of all other lands, exhibit a heavy circular shape, or else are labori- ously associated with pilasters or other adjuncts, though always on a circular foundation. The customary forms do not suffice in the management of capitals and bases for these unwieldy masses : therefore, as a rule, a simple bevelling was adopted for the base ; while a modification of the cubiform capital, adapted to the new proportions, as shown in Fig. 261, com-

Romanesque Architecture. — England. 517

posed the so-called " pleated " capital. Galleries were disposed above the vaulted side-nave, and frequently, also, on the east side of the transept, opening with broad arcades towards the middle nave. Then follow the windows, in front of which are passage-ways, with galleries raised on pillars, similar to those in the churches of Caen. Along the whole clere-story power- ful pilasters rise upward, as though an upper vaulting, which

Fig. 261. From the Church at Waltham.

nowhere occurs, were in contemplation. The linear decoration, already observed in Normandy, comes into extended use here for ornamentation ; so that, especially in the intrados of the arcades, in the frame-work of the galleries, and, most of all, on the portals, all such rich though lifeless forms as the rhomboid, scale-like decorations, and particularly the zigzag, are employed. A massive quadrangular tower was nearly

5 1 8 History of Art.

always built above the transept ; while the fagade, as a rule, was furnished with two towers. The portals, contrary to the usual rule, are round-arched ; so that the tympanum, which in other cases is found between the horizontal beam thrown over the door and the archivolt (see Figs. 236, 250, and page 459), was here abandoned. An opportunity was thus lost for the display of sculptured decoration : decoration now, for the most part, is almost exclusively confined to the linear ornamentation mentioned above. So, in their grave and mas- sive strength, bold in structure, with strongly-defined horizontal proportions, the monuments of Anglo-Norman art have come down to us ; yet they are wanting in all the elements of a more refined, a nobler, and a more pliant life. They inspire one less with a sense of ecclesiastical dignity and solemnity than with a feeling of warlike defiance, or even of knightly splendor.

Among the numerous edifices of the country,' there are important buildings, and parts of buildings, of this epoch, most of them, however, transformed during the Gothic period, or changed by restorations. A notable memorial of this early period may be found in the Cathedral of Winchester, built from 1079 to 1093, containing remarkable crypts and an exten- sive nave, afterward variously restored and remodelled. There are mighty crypts of this period under the Cathedrals of Worcester and Canterbury ; and the choir and crypts of the Cathedral at Gloucester — founded 1089, which has an elongated main building of the form developed in the twelfth century — belong to the same date. The Cathedral of Norwich, which, in common with the rest of these structures, starts with an unusually grand conception in the original plans, and especially is most remarkable for its length, — a point peculiar to all English structures, — is also to be ascribed to this advanced epoch. The building extends to a length of four hundred and

1 Denkmaler der Kunst, plate 44. Rritton : Cathedral Antiquities of Great Britain. 5 vols. London, 1819. By tlie same author: Architectural Antiquities, &c. 5 vols. Lon- don, 1S07.

Romanesque Architecture. — Peterborough. 5 19

eleven feet, with the main nave, thirty-one feet in width, broken by an extended transept with apses at the east end, screened off from a choir with a low passage-gallery and two chapels of original plan. The Cathedral of Peterborough (Figs. 262, 263) is not less imposing in appearance, the building of its interior

Fig. 262. Ground-Plan.

Fig. 263. Section.

Cathedral of Peterborough.

not having been really finished till towards the end of the twelfth century. Its elongated ground-plan ; the transept, with its eastern side-nave ; the beautifully-constructed openings of the upper galleries above the side-spaces ; finally, the sustained clearness of the whole system of parts, — afford a characteristic example of the development of the Anglo-Norman style. The


History of Art.

choir-arcade was altered afterwards ; and the facade, too, was enriched by an imposing Gothic vestibule. Most of the cathe- drals contain remains of more or less importance in the matter of execution and treatment.


In the Scandinavian kingdoms, where the universal dominion of Christianity is of a comparatively recent date, an architect- ural type was developed, wherein English influences prepon- derated in Norway ; while in Sweden and Denmark every thing

Fig. 264. Cathedral at Ribe. Cross-Section.

points back to the influx of German ideas, associated in iso- lated cases with a suggestion of the French schools, produced by the combination of different architectural orders.

In Denmark,' where Christianity was introduced under Ca- nute the Great (1014-1036), and an impulse towards higher culture given under Waldemar I. (1157-1181), the Romanesque

1 Compare J. Lange, in the Danish edition of the present work. Copenhagen, 1872.

Romanesque Architecture. — Denmark. 521

style pursued its unique development from the middle of the tenth far into the latter part of the thirteenth century. It is worthy of remark, that the influence of Rhenish monuments is apparent in the case of several important structures, as in the Cathedral at Ribe (Ripen) in Jutland, in the building of which, indeed, tufa from Andernach was used. Its forms indi-

Fig. 265. Crypt of the Cathedral at Viborg.

cate so clearly the predominance of the perfected Romanesque architecture of the Rhineland, that the structure must, per- force, belong to a period prior to the restoration effected after a fire in 11 76, the first foundation having been laid in 1134. The blind arcades of the choir-apse ; the wide transept, with its mighty span of cross-vaulting in the wings, and the hexagonal

522 History of Art.

ribbed-vaulting in the southern arm ; with a dome above the intersection of the arms of the cross, and piers, combined with smaller column-shafts ; finally, the galleries above the side- naves, — all clearly indicate Rhenish influences (Fig. 264). The same galleries may be observed at the Cathedral of Viborg, which also has crypts (Fig. 265) that may be assigned to the time of its first foundation in 1133, with their robust columns, plain cubiform capitals, and vigorously-handled bases ; whilst the upper part of the building, especially the choir with its two sentinel towers, appertains to a later development of the same order. Two additional towers on the west facade lend a rich picturesqueness of effect to the exterior. The length of the whole amounts to about two hundred and seven feet, almost corresponding with the structure previously described. The Cathedral of Roeskild is of more importance, — an imposing structure, measuring two hundred and sixty-five feet in length within, with an aisle surrounding the circular choir in the French style, strongly-projecting transepts, a three-aisled nave with upper galleries, and a remarkable pair of towers on the western facade. Whilst the windows and doors, as well as the triple groups of windows in the gallery-story, still exhibit the circular arch, the arches of the arcades and vaultings are pointed throughout ; and well-defined buttresses are added to the lisenes on the exterior of the side-naves, after the French manner, as shown especially in the Norman buildings.

In Seeland especially, side by side with buildings of hewn stone, an imitation of the North-German brick churches came into vogue ; as, for instance, the Cistercian Church of Soroc, founded m 1161, which follows very closely the Church at Loc- cum (see p. 472) both in ground-plan and construction, both choirs being rectilinear, and chapels in the transepts. These buildings, as well as the Monastery Church at Ringsted (1170), were originally flat-roofed, piered basilicas, which afterwards were vaulted over. The Church of Kallundborg is a central- ized building in the shape of a Greek cross, with arms ending

Romanesque Architectiire. — Sweden. 523

in polygons. A massive square tower formerly rose from the intersection, producing a wonderfully picturesque effect in com- bination with the four octagonal towers, one at the end of each arm of the cross. The Cloister Church of Westerwig in Jut- land (1197) exhibits the alternation of piers and columns, so frequent in North Germany. The Cloister Church of Weng and the Church at Sailing are regular basilicas. A great number of circular churches of smaller size may be found in different parts of the country. There are four on the Island of Bornholm, and three in Greenland, at Igalikko, and at Kakor- tok ; while even North America possesses a monument of the adventurous voyages of the Northmen in the twelfth century in the Circular Church at Newport in Rhode Island.^

Little round churches of similar construction are often met with in Sweden'- as well ; for instance, at Hagby, at Solna near Stockholm, at Munsoe, &c. Besides these, there occurs a special type of small village churches, described as " pack- saddle-shaped," because the high choir and the west tower give the low nave the appearance of the depression in a saddle. The Church at Fora on Oeland, and several others, are specimens of this class of buildings. A more developed style was introduced here also by the influence of foreign schools of architecture ; the English taste predominating in West Goth- land, the North German in Gothland itself. Occasional French touches are not wanting, particularly in the development of the choir with surrounding aisles. The country furnishes admirable limestone and sandstone for building-material, the fashion of building in brick being a later North-German innovation. The Church of Husaby belongs to the earliest and simplest of these structures. The Cathedral at Skara exhibits more richness of

[1 A full statement of the theory that the Old Stone Mill of Newport has neither the origin nor the antiquity here ascribed to it may be found in Palfrey's History of New England, vol. i. pp. 57, 58; and in Bryant and Gay's History <jf the United States, vol. i. p. 59.]

'- Compare the appendix to the Swedish edition of the present work, by C. Eichhorn. Stockholm.


History of Art.

design and construction ; but these are particularly noticeable in the Cistercian Church at Warnhem, — a building of the tran- sition period, with a semicircular choir and surroiuiding aisle, and betraying English influences here and there, especially in the north gate. The Cathedral of Linkoping in East Goth- land is a notable structure of the transition period ; the choir indeed, with the surrounding aisle, of equal height, belonging to the Gothic age. In consideration of its magnificence of

V'vs. 266. The Cathedral at Lund.

ornamentation and uncommon proportions, — its total length being three hundred and twenty-nine feet, — we may assign this building to a most important place among the edifices of the North. Simple churches belonging to the Cistercian order may be seen at Alvastra, having a ground-plan reminding one of Loccum, roofed with circular arches in nave and choir ; and there are others at Askaby and at Vreta, as well as at Nydala in Smaland. The Cathedral at Lund, a stately vaulted

Rojnanesque Architecture. — Sweden. 525

basilica, with piers two hundred and twenty-five feet long, is the most considerable monument in Sweden, the southern portion of which formed a part of the realm of Denmark at that period. Though the completion of its crypts has been assigned to about 1 1 30, and the choir to 1145, the elegance of its finish, which is analogous to that of the perfected Rhenish structures, seems to put so early a date out of the question. The exterior of the choir especially (Fig. 266), with its blind arcades and its gallery of diminutive columns, indicates a more advanced epoch. The two west towers also participate in a greater rich- ness of construction. In the interior, German influences be- tray themselves unmistakably in the alternation of massive with lighter piers, as well as in the arrangement of the clere-story with mock-arcades. A crypt extends beneath the choir ; and there is also an arrangement of smaller chapels opening upon the broadly-projecting transept. The ruined churches at Sig- tuna near Lake Malar are specimens of the Romanesque style in its various stages of development. St. Peter's, for instance, has a heavy square tower, after the English fashion, at the intersection of the arms of the cross : in other respects it is a simple cruciform building with a single nave. St. Olaf is a basilica with three naves. St. Mary's Church, of the Domin- ican order, is an example of the transition to the Gothic. The Cloister Church at Vafruberga is a piered building, with three naves, a transept, and three-naved choir, such as is often seen here. The North-German brick structure comes in with the transition period ; but it uses cut stone for detail-work, as in the case of the Cathedral at Westeras, that at Strengniis with round and square piers alternating in the nave, the Clois- ter Church at Sko, &c. Finnland, with its almost unknown edifices, should not be omitted here, especially St. Mary's Church at Rantamaki and the Cathedral at Abo, both mas- sive brick buildings of the late Romanesque period.

A very high degree of development is shown in the buildings on the Island of Gothland. Early converted to Christianity,

526 History of Art.

conspicuous in commerce and trade by reason of the fer- tility of its soil and its favored position, and yielding admira- ble building-material in limestone and sandstone, the island brought its architecture, under North-German influences, to a high state of excellence. The extensive and picturesque ruins of the once rich and powerful town of Wisby are pre- eminent examples of this. The city-wall, with its thirty-eight towers, still bears witness to the former importance of the place, which has been called the Venice of the North. Among its eighteen churches, most of them lying in ruins, we may mention the Cathedral of St. Mary, a late Romanesque hall- church (i.e., without aisles), the choir rectilinear at the back like those in most of the churches of the town, and furnished with two smaller towers near the choir, besides the west towers. Further, there is the Cruciform Church of St. Lars, with a triforium, an arrangement seldom occurring here. But chief among them all is the Church of the Holy Spirit, a particularly remarkable central structure, of octagonal ground- plan, with a square central space, and especially notable as an example of the completely developed double chapel. Other structures on the island betray a predilection for the two-naved plan ; as, for instance, the Church of Gothem, that of Pole (be- longing to the latter part of this era), and the richly-finished building at Tingstade. In places where the towers have been preserved in their original form, they again indicate, in their massive design and simple treatment, the influence of the North-German buildings, as in the Church at Walls.

Finally, Norway is most clearly under the influence of her neighbor England in the plan of her stone structures. An especially striking feature is the clumsy, circular pier, with a diminished cubiform capital, evidently borrowed from that country, such as may be seen in the Church at Aker, near Christiania, — a simple cruciform building, in which the square space at the intersection, as in many Swedish churches, is shut off by heavy walls, only pierced by narrow passage-ways. A

Romanesque Architecture. — Norway. 527

similar church is that of Ringsaker, with a tunnel-vault in the main nave ; while the side-naves, after the fashion of the south of France, are roofed with half-tunnel vaulting. The Cathe- dral of Stavanger, on the other hand, is a flat-roofed basilica, with heavy circular piers, and zigzag ornaments on the arcades, in the Anglo-Norman manner ; while the lighter proportions of the piers and the sharply-ascending cross-vaulting of St. Mary's Church at Bergen exhibit the predominating influence of Ger- man prototypes. The first rank among Norwegian edifices must, however, be assigned to the Cathedral at Drontheim,' though only the transept belongs to this epoch. Its design, with upper galleries and a triforium, recalls throughout the Anglo-Norman order of architecture; nor do the details of the building depart from that type.

More important and unique of its kind is another class of buildings, peculiar to the mountainous interior of Norway, which adapt the laws of the Romanesque order to a highly original development of architecture in wood.^ The churches are erected either after the model of log-houses, with beams in horizontal layers, or else with upright planks (like the so-called brushwood buildings). The ground-plan bears some analogy to the basilica plan, but with essential variations, consisting in the fact that the form of the nave, as a whole, approaches to a square, and that the lofty central space is encircled by low aisles. The division is effected by round wooden pillars with cubiform capitals, from which spring arches, likewise of wood. The ceiling is formed by the rafters of the roof, wherever modern innovation has not substituted an imitation of tunnel- vaulting. The choir, finished with an apse, is situated at the east, but appears separated from the main building by the aisle that surrounds the nave. The whole building is usually sur- rounded by a covered passage-way, opening, like a gallery, between small wooden pillars.

1 A. V. Minutoli : Der Dom zu Drontheim, &c. Folio. Berlin, 1853.

2 Denkmaler der Kunst, plate 45. Dahl. Dcnkmale einer ausgebildeten Holzbaukunst in den Landschaften Norwegens. Dresden, 1837.


History of Art.

The exterior is still more characteristic than the interior (Fig. 267). The various parts rising one above the other, with their high roofs, culminate most picturesquely ; their pyramidal form reaching its climax in the tower, which crowns the roof of the lofty main nave. Usually a separate little steeple springs from the choir; while a bell-tower, with obliquely slop- ing walls, often stands apart from the church.


Fig. 267 Church at Borgund.

In decoration on the capitals and on the doors a curious sort of carving is made use of, in which Northern imagination finds vigorous play in the gay, intricate scroll-work, with dragons, snakes, and all manner of animal shapes, often recall- ing the chorographic flourishes of the missals by its spiral mazes. The Church of Tind, dating from the close of the twelfth century (Fig. 268), has a particularly rich door-frame of

Roma7iesque Architecture. — Spain.


this description. Besides this building, the churches of Bor- gund, Hitterdal, Urnes, and others, are particularly effective and suggestiv'e examples of this original modification of the Romanesque type, even in the remote North.


In conclusion, let us examine the diffusion of the Romanesque style of architecture in that op- posite and most remote region of Western civilization, — the Pyrenean peninsula, — as far as a still incomplete knowledge will render a sur\'ey possible.' From the time that the Chris- tian power in Spain began slow- ly but irresistibly to win back the domain conquered by the Arabs, a style gradually un- folded itself in those far prov- inces, corresponding in its fun- damental features with the universal

Fie. 26S. Door of ihe Chuich at Tind.

tradition of the West. In the earlier epoch of the eleventh and twelfth centuries an influence determining future development seems to have been chiefly exercised by the architecture of the south of France,

1 Denkmaler der Kunst, plate 42. Don G. P. de Villa-Amil y Don P. de la Es- cosura: Espafia Artistica y Monumental. Paris, 1842. Caveda: Ensayo Historico, &c. See note, p. 424. A. de Laborde: Voyage pittoresque en Espagne. 2d ed. 4 vols. Paris, 1807-20. Monumentos arquitectdnicos di Espafia. Among the most important works is G. E. Street, Some Account of Gothic Architecture in Spain. 2d ed. London, 1S69. [It may be useful to quote here what Mr. Street says about the writers on the architecture of Spain : " Unfortunately, so far as I have been able to learn, no one of late years has taken up the subject of the medieval antiquities of Spain in the way in which we are accustomed to see them treated by writers on the subject elsewhere in Europe. The Ensayo Historico of D. Jose Caveda is ver>' slight and unsatisfactory, and not to be depended on. Passavant,

530 History of Art.

with its tunnel-vaulted naves ; a fact sufficiently accounted for by the contiguous position of the provinces of the Northern part of the peninsula, then altogether under Christian rule : hence, also, the reason of the preponderating emphasis given to the pillared structure with its resulting organization. Col- umned basilicas appear to have been of rare occurrence. Com- monly a huge tower springs from the transept, and the facade is also often finished with towers.

But the farther the Christians forced their way towards the south, and the more vehemently they strove with the Moors for the possession of the country, the more decidedly was their own architecture modified, if not subjugated, by the methods of their opponents. The points of contact of the two civilizations, so closely crowding one upon the other, were too manifold, in peace as in war. The Arabian monuments which filled the re- conquered provinces were too splendid, and too fascinating in the gorgeousness of their ornamentation, not to exert a radical influence over the susceptible imagination of the Spaniards. Indeed, since the rest of Europe had not been able to resist these influences of Mohammedan art, how much easier must have been its conquest here, where all the land was thickly sown with its monuments ! Thus, in this closing period, a Romanesque style was developed, holding fast in its funda- mental laws to old tradition, adopting in its structures the now almost universal cross-vaulting, but admitting in its ornamenta- tion the brilliant and lively play of Moorish details. Many superb edifices furnish examples of this interesting combination.

who has published some notes on Spanish architecture (Die christliche Kunst in Spanien, Leipzig, 1853), is so hidicrously wrong in most of his statements, that it seems probable he trusted to his internal consciousness instead of to personal inspection for his facts. The work of Don G. P. de Villa-Amil is very showy and very untrustworthy ; and that of Don F. J. Parccrisa (Recuerdos y Bellezas di Espana, 1844), and the great work which the Span- ish Government is publishing (Monumentos arquitectdnicos di Espafia, Madrid, 1859-65, and still in course of publication), are both so large and elaborate as to be useless for the purpose of giving such a general and comprehensive idea of the features of Gothic architect, ure in Spain as it has been my effort to give in this work." —Same Account, &c. Preface, pp. vi, vii.]

Ro7)ia7tesqiie Architecture. — Spain.


Perhaps the most noted production of the early Romanesque period in Spain is the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostella,

Fig. 269. Church of St. Isidoro. Leon.

a considerable structure, with tunnel-vaulted main nave, a three-

532 History of Art.

naved transept, galleries over the side-naves, a choir with a surrounding aisle and a wreath of chapels, and, in addition, a superb porch ; all the important parts of the building belong- ing to the twelfth century, and in exact imitation of St. Sernin at Toulouse. The Church of St. Isidoro at Leon belongs to about the same period, and resembles the former in conception. It was consecrated in 1 149, and is a pillared structure of rich proportions, and vigorous plastic decoration (Fig. 269). A vaulted pantheon, the ancient mortuary chapel of the kings of Leon, is connected with it on the west side. In Segovia, several churches, especially that of St. Millan,^ exhibit the original design of elegant columned porticos along the exterior of the side-naves, sometimes by a similar colonnade at the west end. (The Church at Monreale, in Sicily, has just such a por- tico on its north side.) The old Cathedral of Salamanca — a building with massive piers, and a dome above the transept — belongs to the later period of full and perfect development (Fig. 270). Its choir consists of three parallel apses, — a form peculiar to most Spanish buildings, and which almost did away with the richer plan of the French choir, with its surround- ing aisle, and series of chapels. Besides these, the Cathedral and Church of St. Magdalen at Zamora, both remarkable for superb gates, belong to this epoch. There is a monastery church of the same era in the neighboring town of Toro, — an admirable example of original adaptation of Moorish forms, with its massive domed tower above the transept. Round, jutting turrets rise at the corners, gracefully perforated, like the great central tower, by two rows of arched window-apertures. The flat roofing intensifies the singularly massive effect of the whole structure, which is profusely ornamented in Moorish fashion. By way of contrast, another conspicuous building of the latter part of this epoch, the Cathedral of Tarragona, in the richness of development of its pillar and vault construction,

[1 For a view of this churcli, slunvin;; the singular arrangement of cloisters along the side- aisles, see Street, Some Account, &c., p. i8S.]

Rornmiesqiie ArcJiitediire. — Spam.


exhibits the influence of the Northern style ; it may be, even of the Norman. The Cathedral of Tudela and that of Lerida, now used for secular purposes, are of lesser dimensions, but similar in plan ; whilst, on the other hand, the Abbey Church of Veruela,

Fig. 270. Tower of the Cathedral of Salamanca.

with its richly-developed choir, shows itself akin to the French buildings of the period. Finally, there are still some cloisters remaining as striking specimens of the magnificence of the closing epoch, among others those of San Pablo at Barcelona,

534 History of Art.

which again incline to the Moorish manner, with their elegantly decorated coupled columns and scalloped arches.


The plastic art of the same period cannot bear any com- parison with the rich and buoyant picture of Romanesque architecture. The spirit of the times was as favorable to the development of architecture as it was prejudicial to the higher perfection and freer bloom of the sister-arts. It lay in the very nature of the whole movement of development, that the general ideas, fixed and determined by the life of the time, — a life con- trolled and guided by a hierarchy, — should, for the moment, reign supreme, and find their fit expression in architectural work. The prosperous growth of the plastic arts, on the con- trary, is more dependent upon the freedom of the individual, and upon the importance given to him in the life of the community. This was greatly limited in the Romanesque period, and, indeed, throughout the middle ages, — at first by the conventual, and afterwards by the corporate element. In the epoch we are con- sidering, however, when the practice of the arts was, for the most part, confined to the clergy, ecclesiastical tendencies were predominant, and the narrow horizon of the monastic cell was identical with that of art itself. Here, too, its relation towards tradition was long the decisive and guiding clement ; for the school of painting of ancient Christian days was taken in con- nection with church architecture as a basis for the whole wide realm of Western art. Even now Christian art sought only to convey moral teachings and to sanctify, and was incapable of aught else. Its images are always the same : the narrow circle of symbols is repeated on every hand ; and conventional, ex- ternal signs and emblems are always requisite to a comprehen- sion of the work.

The form which characterizes these images, and even the

Roma7tesque Art. — Sculpture and Painting. 535

technique employed, are no less traditional. As in the days of ancient Christianity, the antique conception is the ruling one : it is, perhaps, especially manifest in the drapery, but is also shown in the general arrangement throughout the whole Romanesque period. The antique elements were, of course, received in the already stiffened and distorted shape which they gained in the old Christian epoch : the work compares with real antiques in this respect, as the rude imitation of the Corinthian capital with its original. Decay evidently made rapid progress in the first period, because the yet un- skilful, rude spirit of the German people was slow to accept and understand the antique form and its traditional meaning, and to succeed in developing from this germ a new life with fresh and original power. A period of acclimatization, as it were, was necessary for the foreign seed to overcome the rigid chill of the yet uncultivated Northern soil, and to prepare that soil for its better reception. A fresh growth then followed, which was still characterized by antique conceptions of form, but in which the German spirit expressed itself in original adaptations and modulations.

Through this adherence to tradition, the demand for innate meaning, and the close relation in which it stood to architect- ure, sculpture from the first received a severe canon of style, which served as a guiding rule in its future progress, and kept it from error. Christian dogmas, which saw nothing in nature but what was sinful, and hostile to spiritual welfare, restrained art from the study of nature ; and the antique conception, there- fore, held good and sufficed for a time, until hand and eye were freed by constant practice, and were prepared for an unbiassed study of natural objects.

The range of thought in sculpture was almost exclusively ecclesiastic at this time ; although there are examples of the illustration of secular history, — such as the famous Bayeux tapestry, on which William the Conqueror's wife wrought the

536 History of Art.

conquest of England by the Normans ; • or the mural paintings in Merseburg Castle, setting forth Henry I.'s victory over the Hungarians. The Church, ruling supreme, not only drew all artistic talent to its service, but gave it the widest field, the most various opportunity for activity. There were choir- screens, pulpits, doors, and whole fagades, to be carved : the extensive surfaces of roof and wall, and even the windows, gave room for important series of paintings ; the various ves- sels required in the mass gave occasion for every kind of artistic skill ; and the help of painting was called in to deco- rate manuscript books with rich illuminations.

Even in the choice of subject, the Church gave the greatest scope to the artist by adding to the portrayal of sacred figures every other conception known to the learning of the time. This generally drew largely upon ancient legendary lore, whose characters are often mingled with the utmost simplicity, and sometimes even in symbolical relations with Christian imagery. The personifications used may be traced to the ancient world, — such as those of sun, moon, months and seasons, streams, &c. ; and allegorical figures of virtues and vices, sciences and industries, were also favorites. The old fabulous forms of sirens, centaurs, and satyrs, were most abundantly employed, although conventionalized to mere ornamental forms. It is often hard to say how far the desire for symbolism is to be sought in works of this era, and where it limits the free play of artistic fancy ; but assuredly both elements appear side by side. Even heroes of the Northern sagas sometimes find place, although but seldom. Figures from the German animal epic are more frequent, in which the primitive idea of the foul Fiend's struggle to tempt and destroy mankind is often treated with lively humor. Animal forms are always an important element in the symbolism of mediaeval art ; and scientific trea- tises were written which endeavored to exhaust the simple

[1 But see Briice's work, The Bayeux Tapestry, in which this notion is shown to be without foundation.]

Roinanesquc Art. — The Bestiaries. 537

knowledge of natural history of that age in a wealth of sym- bolical references. But as their significance was even then fault, confused, and altogether capricious, it soon became used in so bewildering and indistinct a way, that the lion stood alike for Christ and the Devil. ^

This whole wealth of symbols and ideas weaves its fantastic web about the real fundamental idea of these representations, which constantly follows, with all manner of variations, the Christian theory of the fall of man and his redemption ; some- times treating it simply, sometimes elaborately. The prevail- ins: architectural law of the time sets before us whole series of subjects grandly conceived and clearly arranged. The single image, the individual form, is altogether unimportant. It only fulfils the law of its being in connection with others, in in- timate relation with its surroundings, in subordination to a deep, significant whole. To make these relations as full and rich as possible, the parallelism employed even in ancient Christian times, and typically harmonizing the events of the New Testament — the scenes of Christ's life, and sacrificial death — with the stories of the Old Testament, was taken up, ac- cepted, increased, and developed. Sculpture, therefore, reaches a grand intellectual depth of delineation in this period, taking as a centre the idea of the redemption, and gaining from the sum total of the remaining conceptions those delicate allegorical relations which run through the web of the design from every side like slender, gay-colored threads, and add the bright images of fancy to the severe simplicity of the original plan.

As to style, the character of these works is, as befits their inner meaning, solemnly earnest, full of dignity, thoroughly and severely typical, and indicates that they are bound together by a common traditional origin. Within this harmonious form there are many divisions into national and local schools ; and

[1 See, on the curious subject of these Bestiaries, D. Rock : Textile Fabrics. London, 1870. Reference to pages in Index, under Zoology. See also Viollet-le-Duc, Dictionnairc

de r Architecture, &c., under Animaux, Bestiaires, but principally under Sculpture.]

538 History of Art.

the extremes of awkward and clumsy, but fresh and natural efforts, and of technically correct but stiff productions, con- tinually meet, the latter being especially results of Byzantine influence. Then, too, there are variations produced by the different materials employed, and the special style of work required by them ; and, finally, there is an advance from severity to freedom, from clumsiness to delicacy and dignity. But there is not the same striking and universal mental de- velopment that was effected in architecture by the undeniable material advantages of its more highly-developed constructive power. The independent genius, which succeeded in pre- serving its peculiar importance even in architecture, finds a far broader field in the development of sculpture, and draws profit from it the more freely as chance and the personal capacity of the individual become more and more harmonious with increasing practice. But, on the whole, there was an evi- dent and all-pervading difference between the work of Italy and that of Northern nations, which should serve as a guide in our examination.


None of the Northern countries illustrates- the development of Romanesque sculpture so freshly, and with such variety and animation, as Germany.^ However much the pure form of the Germanic character existing here may have had to do with the acceptance of its new significance and the filling of the old traditional forms with fresh life, there were also other con- current causes. The great prosperity of Germany under the Saxon emperors, their position as successors of the old im- perators, gave free scope to the popular spirit : the manifold

1 Denkmaler der Kiinst, plate 47. Miiller : Beitrage zur deutschen Kiinst unci Gescliichten- kunde. Darmstadt, 1832. E. aus'm Werth, Kunstdenkmale der christlichen Mittelalten in der Rheinlanden, vol. i. Leipzig, 1857. E. Forster : Denkmaler deutschen Baukunst. Leipzig, 1856.

Romanesque Art. — Germany. 539

relations in which it stood to Italy excited a taste for sculpture, and gave many fresh impressions of the rich treasures of ancient art, which must have had a greater and more lasting effect upon the foreign visitor than on the native himself. Finally, there was also no lack of Byzantine influences, which were of mate- rial importance in the development of skill in the lesser arts. In many departments, particularly in the case of elegant stuffs interwoven with figures, even Oriental and Saracenic influences had their weight.^

Numerous interesting monuments in Germany afford an at- tractive picture of this gradually-advancing dawn of artistic consciousness. At first, echoes of the Carlovingian period pre- vail : we find an antique style of treatment, mostly appearing in rude and ignorant form, but not without a germ of fresh life : indeed, a surprising vigor and purpose are often apparent in sculpture during the eleventh century. Then another tendency was aroused, principally based on Byzantine models, which led to greater simplicity and regularity. The impression of natural naivete was now repressed, and replaced by a more cheerless element ; yet this, too, forms the basis of a higher and freer development, which increases towards the close of the twelfth century, and reaches its height about the middle of the next. The antique was again accepted as a starting-point with fresh force and enthusiasm. But the much-enlarged circle of action opened by the splendor of chivalry, the prosperity of cities, long journeys in the East, and more especially by the cru- sades, filled the old forms with a young, free, and noble vitality, sometimes indeed restrained by the typically severe spirit of the transition, but yet breaking out, where bold and self-conscious artistic genius had sufficient strength, in a beauty and purity which reveal a grand sense of form pervaded by a warm breath of sensibility.

Sculpture was at this time employed in many minor works,

1 See the learned but lively work of Dr. Rock : Textile Fabrics.

540 History of Art.

especially in ivory carvings.^ This form of art was extremely popular throughout the whole Romanesque period, and its prod- ucts formed an important element in the many rich utensils and articles of ornament in which the childlike love of splendor natural to a fresh young age delighted. Book-covers, small portable altars formed of two leaves like .the ancient diptych, and also articles of household luxury like hunting and drinking horns, cups, &c., were made of ivory, and covered with elabo- rate carvings, consisting for the most part of bold reliefs, sometimes treated with a certain stiffness and ponderosity, sometimes even rudely and clumsily executed. But wherever we find either real Byzantine work, or a copy of it, there is a remarkable delicacy and clear grace of art, such as distinguishes this smooth and polished kind of work. As a rule, there is more intellectual freshness in the works of this kind, with all their stiffness, than in the Byzantine.

A great number of such specimens have been preserved in museums, libraries, and in the treasuries of churches. A preg- nant example of that earlier style may be seen in the ivory panels of the reliquary in the Castle Church at Ouedlinburg, assigned (probably correctly) to the days of King Henry I. They represent events in the life of Christ, such as his washing of Peter's feet, his blessing his disciples, the Marys at the sepulchre, and the transfiguration on Mt. Tabor, but in so clumsy and ignorant a fashion, that they may fairly be ranked with the very beginnings of art. The general plan of the ancient Roman drapery is preserved ; but every approach to a true outline of the body, every suggestion of organic texture, disappears utterly. Yet in this very childish lack of skill there is a trace of the dignity of ancient art, and it accords well with the sacred nature of the subject. There is a noteworthy ex- ception to this rule in the shape of a diptych in the collection of the Hotel Cluny at Paris, dating back to the time of Otto H.

1 See, as before, Mr. E. Fortnum Drury's work on Ivories, the original edition and the abridgment, pubhshed among the South-Kensington Catalogues. London and New York.

Romanesque Art. — Ivory Carvings.


That emperor, as is well known, married the Greek princess Theophanes ; and, if this connection did not introduce a strong Byzantine element into German art, it will certainly be ac- knowledged that many smaller specimens of Byzantine work must have been brought into the country, and must have incited men to copy them bv their mere techni- cal superiority. The aforementioned dip- tych, with its reliefs, affords a lively idea of the results (Fig. 271). We see the fissure of Christ en- framed by pillars, — a figure of imposing height, and robed in raiment of ancient fashion, — laying his hands in blessing on the heads of the small doll-like figures of Otto and his spouse. The artist seems also to have car\'ed his own figure under that of the emperor, in the servile spirit of the time. A hunting- horn (Fig. 272) preserved among the treasures of the Cathedral in Prao-ue ^ shows the living charm which the fanciful imagination of that time tried to lavish on every-day utensils. The chariot- races, four of the quadriga, the figures of griffins and centaurs,

1 Mittelalterliche Denkmaer der oesterreichischen Kaiserstaates, vol. ii. p. 127, with beautiful illustrations.

Fig. 271. Ivory Relief. Paris.


History of Art.

and the gladiators preparing for combat with them, point directly to antique models ; while the character of the foliage decoration is unmistakably Romanesque in form, so that the work probably belongs to the eleventh century.

Fig. 272. Reliefs on a Huntirg-Horn. Prague.

The bronze articles of this era, the best of which are also produced in Germany, are of great importance. Many very fine ones are connected, in one way and another, with Bishop Bernward von Hildesheim (died 1023), — a learned man, prom- inent in politics as well as in the church, and equally familiar with art and science. He was himself a practical artist, as

Romatiesque Art. — Works hi Bronze. 543

proved by still existing works from his hand. The first are the bronze doors of the Cathedral at Hildeshcim,^ decorated with sixteen bass-reliefs arranged in two rows. One series con- tains scenes from the Old Testament, from the creation of the world to the death of Abel : the other illustrates the life of Christ, from the annunciation to the ascension, without any attempt at severe parallelism. The style is extremely primitive : the figures are treated with a rare lack of skill. The relief, sin- gularly enough, is confined almost exclusively to the lower half of the figures, while the upper part is scarcely raised from the surface ; nor is there the slightest attempt to fill up the space at command in an artistic way. But, despite these technical defects, the work is interesting through its undeniable expres- sion of life, and even of dramatic action. Abel falling beneath his brother Cain's blow, Cain shrinking from the threatening hand of God, are instances of childlike freshness and energy. Bernward achieved another and more important work in a bronze column, which once sustained a crucifix in the cathe- dral choir, but now, stripped of its capital, stands in the square outside. It evidently owed its origin to the impressions made on the learned bishop in Rome ; for figures wind spirally about it as around the pillars of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius, these being taken from the life of Christ, reminding us of their Roman models in the very lavishness of the relief, and affording us a proof of how unsettled in those days was artistic practice, and how little understood were the laws of style. A similar bronze door may be found in the Augsburg Cathedral, probably dating back to the latter half of the eleventh century. Cer- tain bronze tomb-slabs show that tomb-monuments were occa- sionally made of bronze at this period ; and they all portray the deceased in low relief, and with very slight feeling for nature and truth. The oldest of these slabs occurs in the Magdeburg Cathedral : another, in the Cathedral at Merseburg, represents the aspirant to the throne, Rudolph of Swabia, who

1 Kratz : Der Dom zu Hildesheim, 3 parts, 34 plates. Text Hildesheim. 1840.


History of Art.

fell in 1080 (Fig. 273). The bronze figure of a man holding a light, in the Erfurt Cathedral, belongs to the same period.

A large font in St. Barthelemy at Liittich, cast in 11 12 by Master Lam- bert Patras of Dinan, belongs to a more advanced period. Like the famous Sea of Brass in the court of Solomon's Temple, the basirL rests on twelve figures of animals, which also embody an allusion to the apostles. On its external surface are five reliefs, whose subjects relate to the holy ofifice of baptism. We see John baptizing publicans, and preaching in the wil- derness ; the inscription referring to the " greater than he that was to follow " (Fig. 274). Then there is the baptism of Christ, and two other bap- tismal scenes taken from the Bible. This composition is already far freer and more raised, the form of the figures more natural, than before : the drapery is simple and clear, the whole pervaded with a fidelity to nature which pleasantly permeates the antique conception. The Cathe- dral at Osnabriick, designed by one Gerhard, contains another work of the same era. It represents the baptism of Christ, with an angel handing in officious haste a cloth to dry the Saviour. Here, too, a fresh, natural feeling, and effort toward dramatic action, successfully animate the stiff form. The so-called " Korsun " doors of the Cathedral at Novgorod, and the bronze doors of the Gnesen Cathedral, also belong to the same period. The Cathedral at Hildesheim also

Fig. 273. Tomb-Slab of Rudolph of Swabia. Merseburg.

Romanesque Art. — Works in Bronze. 545

possesses a still richer font, of the thirteenth century, resting upon personifications of the rivers of paradise, while the sur- faces are covered with animated bass-reliefs. In other church vessels the same love of rich work, and the same technical skill in the production of larger works of cast metal, are evident. We cite as examples the splendid seven-branched candlestick in the Cathedral at Essen, one of the few existing examples of a copy of the seven-branched candlestick in Solomon's Temple,


Fig. 274. Relief from the Font in the Church of St. Bartholomew. Luttich.

so popular during the Romanesque period ; also the richly- decorated sconce in the Prague Cathedral, whose bright mix- ture of graceful vines, human figures, and strange animals, forms an attractive example of the rich, fanciful, and signifi- cant school of Romanesque ornament (Fig. 275). The corona (circle of metals for holding lights) of the Minster at Aix, endowed by Emperor Frederic I., deserves special mention as a fine work of the closing period. Similar ones may be found in the Cathedral at Hildesheim and the Church at


The works above mentioned being of a more flexible charac-


History of Art.

ter, we have now to consider sculpture, which was executed in stone or stucco, in the interests of architecture, and for the display of which doors, choir-screens, &c., gave ample oppor- tunity. The greater difficulty of handling the material made it natural that the demand for such decorative works should not be great until a period of richer development. Among older productions of the kind ascribed to the eleventh cen- tury are two interesting stone bass-reliefs in the Minster at Basle, which contain four representations of martyrs, and

Fig. 275. From the Candelabrum in the Cathedral at Prague.

figures of the apostles, in pairs, between small rows of arches. Here, too, there is a manifest attempt to copy life, and a certain fidelity to nature, together with clear and effective drapery. The much-discussed colossal relief of the externstein in West- phalia, hewn from a stone wall thirteen feet wide and over six- teen feet high, belongs to the early part of the twelfth century. It represents the descent from the cross,^ and is valuable for its deep symbolic meaning. The half-figure of God the Father hovers above the cross with the standard of victory, ready to receive his Son's soul, while sun and moon, on either side, hang

1 Denkmaler der Kunst, plate 47

Romanesque Art. — Stucco- Reliefs.


their heads in an attitude of grief ; and at the foot of the cross Adam and Eve, as representatives of mankind, encompassed by the dragons of sin, stretch their arms imploringly towards their Saviour. Some traces of deep feeling shine with real force through the rude crudity of the picture, and the spaces are also arranged with due regard to architectural laws. Espe- cially is this the case with the Virgin Mary, who is here rep- resented as on the point of fainting, and forms a group by herself, holding the drooping head of her son in a close and sad embrace, and pressing her cheek to his in anxious love. The sensitive soul of a gifted artist speaks plainly here, even amid the close bonds of tradition.

The Saxon basiHcas contain a long list of compositions in relief and of consistently ad- vancing stages of progress. Among the oldest and most crude are the figures of Christ (Fig. 276) and the apostles, executed in stucco on the parapet of a western gallery in the Church at Groningen, near Halberstadt. The stuc- co reliefs on the choir-screen in the Church of the Virgin at Halberstadt are freer and more fully developed, also portraying the apostles with Christ in their midst on one side, and his mother on the

other, — works in which the severely classic style has already developed into singular mellowness. Less noble, but more animated, are the figures in relief on the choir-screen of St. Michael at Hildesheim, which are represented, not in a sitting, but a standing posture. This style attained a perfec- tion rare at this period, and an almost classic grace, in the

Fig. 276. Relief from the Church at Groningen.


History of Art.

stone carvings at Wechselburg and Freiberg. In the Church at Wechselburg they chiefly take the form of rehefs in the chancel/ treating of the doctrine of the redemption in deeply significant outlines. Christ enthroned, surrounded by evan- gelical symbols, Mary and John on either hand, the mediators for mankind at the throne of the Most High, form the central group. Christ's sacrificial death, and work of redemption, are typified by the sacrifice of Isaac and the worship of the brazen serpent. Cain and Abel (Fig. 277) offering up their

sacrifices stand for the good and the bad in their rela- tions to God. Here, again, the symbolic significance is per- vaded with freer ar- tistic feeling, breath-

Fig. 277. Relief in the Church at Wechselburg.

ing a new and noble life into the tra- ditional conceptions of nature. The altar of the same church, an extensive open arcaded structure, adorned with sculp- ture of a milder, freer, and more mellow style, and crowned by a crucifix be- tween the figures of Mary and John, belongs to a somewhat earlier stage of development. It is a work of great merit, and surprising fidelity to nature. The most superb work of this final period, dating near the middle of the thirteenth century, is the sculpture on the " golden gate " at Freiberg,^ the remains of an old building with a late Gothic dome. On the tympanum we find Mary enthroned with the infant

1 Denkmaler der Kunst, plate 47.

Romanesqice Art. — Relief Smlpture. 549

Christ, who is adored by the three kings ; while the figures of the Trinity, surrounded by angels, appear in the archivolL On either side of the door, between the rows of pillars, four figures standing free are carved, representing the prophetic annunciation of the Messiah in varied symbolism. The whole has a deep, inherent connection ; but the subjects are freely and independently handled. The mechanical treatment strikes us in the same way, — delicate and refined, of youthful grace and free imaginative conception, even inclining to tenderness. The execution of the heads and the drapery at once recalls the dignity of antique art ; but here a new vigor and deep sensi- bility find successful expression. These superb pieces of sculp- ture are by far the most admirable of the best and noblest work of the concluding Romanesque period, and their existence can only be explained by the assumption that they are the work of some peculiarly-gifted artist. Yet they are evidently related to the vigorous and important plastic efforts to be found in Saxon regions from the very first. We also find an analogous case in the classic delicacy and elegance of the richly-finished orna- mental sculpture, such as is to be seen, for instance, in the Cathedral at Naumburg.

A kindred effort, based on pure beauty and free action, is manifest, although more severe in character, in the reliefs on the eastern choir-screen in Bamberg^ Cathedral. As for the monuments of Southern Germany, on the contrary, such as the " Gallus " door of the Basle Cathedral and others, they testify to a striking persistence in rude, clumsy rigidity, which, espe- cially in many Austrian edifices, — as, for instance, the Church at Schongrabern,2 — contrasts strangely with the elegance of the merely decorative carving.

Many French works of the same school date back to the beginning of the twelfth century.' The most comprehensive

1 Kiigler: Kleine Schriften, &c., vol. i. With illustrations.

2 G. Heider: Die Kirche zu Schongrabern. Vienna, 1854.

3 For an exhaustive treatment of this subject, with ample and spirited illustration, see Viollet-le-Duc: Dictionnaire de 1' Architecture, etc., art. Sculpture.


History of Art.

monument of this epoch is formed by the sculpture on the main entrance of the Abbey Church at Conques, representing in pop- ular style the day of judgment. Christ, surrounded by angels, sits severe and stern upon his throne : below we see the sepa- ration of the good from the bad, who are led away to para- dise or the torments of hell. Later in the twelfth century, the custom was adopted, in France, of loading the capitals of columns with historical scenes from the Bible and from legendary lore, or with purely imaginative or symbolic figures. The limited space led to a somewhat wild, inartistic crowding of images; and the style of the figures wavers between the stiff and lifeless and an almost barbaric wildness ; as, for example, in a capital in the Church at V^zelay, representing Moses and the worship of the golden calf in rude fantastic fashion. But sculpture was also employed elsewhere, especially on doors and whole facades, in the same stiff, conventional style, particularly in the South, as in Aries Cathedral, which con- tains the often-recurring subject of the last judgment.

A more generous fancy prevailed in West- ern France, notably in Poitou, decking the fa9ade of the Cathedral at Angouleme with its most brilliant results in gorgeous decora- tion. Towards the close of the twelfth cen- tury, a severe revival of the old hieratic forms Fig. 278. statue from ^s noticcablc in the north-west of France, the Main Portal of the showu by au almost columnar rigidity of

Cathedral of Chartres. t/-i i-

figures, and a delicate but lifeless regularity of folds in the drapery, not dissimilar to the archaic sculp- tures of Greek art. The doorways of the Cathedrals at Bourges, Chartres (Fig. 278), and Le Mans, are admirable

Romanesque Art. — Ename(s. 551

specimens of this tendency, which might seem an anachron- ism if it were not the basis on which a new, generous, won- drously free and complete style of sculpture was to be built up side by side with the revival of architectural industry, dating from the beginning of the thirteenth century. These tenden- cies were co-existent with the early Gothic tendency in France, and are to be considered later.

A transition from sculpture to painting is formed by cer- tain works of decorative art, which seek to gratify the lively ostentation of the time, not only by the combination of the most varied and costly materials, but also by the union of the sculp- tor's and the painter's skill. Generally a metal ground, either of gilt, copper, or silver plates, is covered with fine filigree pat' terns, gay enamel, precious stones, and especially with antique gems and cameos. Whatever any one had that was precious was devoted to the execution of such works, especially book- covers, little altars, censers, reliquaries of all sorts, processional crosses, and even to the adornment of the larger altars with the so-called antependium. Various as are the materials and the skill, these objects possess a highly picturesque charm, and are often of considerable original importance as works of art. De- spite the fact that much has been destroyed, many noble and rich specimens still exist in museums and churches. The use of enamel was universally popular, first diffused by Byzan- tine examples, and afterwards cultivated with great success at Limoges. The Byzantin