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The marquis of Montano, intending to erect a new palace, requested the holy father to recommend an artist, who was competent to the design and superintendence of the building. The choice at last fell upon Romano, who, on his arrival, was received by the duke with every testimony of respect for his genius, and shared largely his munificence. He was led to the duke's pleasure grounds, and showed the place where his patron desired his palace to be built, without disturbing or molesting the remains of an old wall adjacent to the spot. Romano immediately formed the design of making that wall an integral part in the building, which he executed so much to the satisfaction of the duke, that he resolved to have the whole building finished in that manner. The palace was built square, and had within a great court, in which were four cross entries, with the ceilings all in fresco.
On the walls were drawn the marquis's dogs, designed by our artist, and finished by his scholar Rinaldo Montano. Another room, where ceilings are divided into compartments of stucco, is decorated with a series of paintings of the story of Cupid and Psyche. Cupid espouses Psyche, in the presence of the assembled deities; and here the artist has displayed to the greatest advantage his skill in the difficult and delicate art of foreshortening his figure. A form not a foot long, appears to be three or four feet, when seen from the ground. On the side of the room the same story is continued in fresco. A beautiful figure of Psyche appears in a bath, perfectly naked, attended by several little Cupids, who are busily employed in rubbing the moisture from her limbs.
Another wall presents us with a table loaded with a rich and luxurious banquet, which the Graces are adorning with flowers. Bacchus, Silenus, and several Bacchantes, are singing and playing on musical instruments. Psyche, retired at a small distance from this riot, is waited on by several women of excellent beauty-Phæbus, drawn in a car of four horses, approaches to enliven the day, while a lovely Zephyr is drawn naked upon the clouds, deeply engaged in attempering the atmosphere to this favourite of Cupid and the gods. .
While the eye of the spectator is charmed and delighted by such a group of delightful objects, he is called upon to witness another freak of capricious genius, rendered more strong and impressive by the contrasts it exhibits. Romano built another apartment, to correspond with the painting he designed. The interior was composed of gross rustic work; and the stones, althougb piled with consummate art, appeared to be thrown together by chance, and ready at every moment to fall from their places.
Here was painted the war of Jupiter and the giants. In one part the gods are seen flying in consternation from their invading foes; but Jupiter alone, amidst all this alarm, preserves, by the serenity of his countenance, the character of Omnipotence. On the other side are seen the giants routed and discomfited, some retreating for protection to a grotto, made dark and hollow, to render the deception more perfect, some overwhelmed by rocks and mountains; these ponderous masses are seen suspended over the heads of others, who are springing from the inevitable ruin, while the rest are crushed by the fall of pillars and temples. Pluto, alarmed by this uproar, flies in a car drawn by fiery horses to the centre of the earth for protection.
There is a little analogy between this freak of the pencil, and the following lines from Homer:
“ Deep in the dreary regions of the dead,
The colouring is from the hand of Rinaldo Montuano, and so judiciously managed by the strong masses of light and shade, that a room only fifteen yards in extent, appears of immense compass.
While Romano was thus engaged, the river Po broke its boundaries, and overflowed the greater part of the city. By the command of the duke, he caused all that part of the city so deluged to be taken down, and upon their ruins new buildings to
be erected, out of the reach of the water. The whole city was almost thus rebuilt by Romano.
He executed for the duke's palace a series of paintings, commemorative of the principal events of the Trojan war-A Madonna travelling to Egypt-Joseph holds his ass by the halter, and some angels pull down the boughs of a date tree, for the infant to gather fruit.-Romulus nursed by a she-wolf.-Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto, dividing the empire of the heavens, earth, and sea amongst themselves.-The Nativity of St. John the Baptist--and the Meeting of Hannibal and Scipio, in the presence of their two armies, on the banks of a river.
He is reported to bave made more designs than several horses would be able to carry, and to have been so admirable a painter and architect, that every sort of design was familiar to him. The duke maintained the strictest friendship for Romano to his death-an event that affected our artist so much, that he would have immediately left Montano, had not his brother, the Cardinal, exerted every mode of courteous endearment and solicitation, to change his purpose.
When Angelo exhibited at Rome his painting called the Last Judgment, Romano, wishing to enter the lists of competition, chose the subject of our Saviour's calling Peter and Andrew from their nets to become his disciples; and his Cartoon, which was painted by his best scholar, Ferino Guroini, was executed with such diligence and force, it is pronounced the best production of his hands.
The chief architect of St. Peter's church dying, it became a question of much debate amongst the superintendents, what person should succeed to that office. Julio was at last appointed, and anxious as he was to accept, he was deterred from fear of offending the Cardinal, who would by no means consent, and by the remonstrances of his wife, who was also averse. While he was thus wavering, he was attacked with a violent malady, and expired in the fifty-fourth year of his age, in the year 1546.
In the year 1811, says a Paris Journal, of the first of January 1812, there have been performed on the different theatres of the capital, one hundred and sixty new pieces.
At the Imperial Academy of Music, (the French Opera) five: of which three were operas and two ballets. The operas were the Triumph of Mars, Sophocles, and the Amazons, none of which obtained a distinguished success.
At the French theatre, nine, viz. two tragedies, Mahomet the Second, which the author withdrew at the eighth representation, but which will be resumed after some changes; Hannibal, a piece which failed yesterday. Only one comedy in five acts, called the Mania for Independence, which has experienced a total failuretwo comedies in three acts, which shared the same fate; and four small pieces, of which three were hissed.
At the Comic Opera, twelve: three pieces of three acts, three of two, and six of a single act. In this number, there were four failures; and none of them had a flattering reception.
At the Odeon, eighteen. The quantity was substituted for quality. The Old Aunt of Picard is, however, well spoken of.
At the Opera Buffa, seven.
At the Vaudeville, twenty-four: of which only four or five yet remain.
At the Varieties, twenty-one: among which is the monstrous Ogress. The list of this theatre, however, is gradually purifying.
At the Ambigu Comique, eleven: of which seven were melodramas.
At the Gaiety, seventeen: of which nine were melo-dramas.
An ordinance of the police, says the same journal, concerning the interior and exterior police of the theatres, contains the foilowing regulations:
No theatre can be opened in the city of Paris, unless the managers have previously complied with the formalities, and are provided with the authorities required by law.
No theatre shall be opened until it has been clearly proved that the building is constructed in a solid manner; that the proper precautions in case of fire have been taken; and that nothing is suffered to remain under the porticoes or the entries that can in any manner impede the circulation.
Every theatre at present opened, or to be opened in future, shall be instantly closed, if the managers neglect for a single day to keep the reservoirs full of water, and the pumps in good condition, and to superintend the persons who must be constantly ready to give assistance in case of accident.
The managers shall not distribute more tickets than the number of persons whom the theatre can contain.
It is enjoined on the managers to cause to be closed exactly, during the whole time of the representation, the doors commu. nicating from the body of the theatre to the stage, the green room, or the boxes of the artists; in which no person, not belonging to the theatre, shall be introduced.
It is expressly forbidden, for any person to sell again, to the public, tickets procured from the proper officers of the theatre, or to sell, at all, tickets which come from any other source.
It is forbidden to talk or walk about in the lobbies during the representation, in such a way as to disturb the order of the house.
It is also forbidden to disturb the tranquillity of the spectators by noises, either of applause or disapprobation before the curtain rises or between the acts.
No one shall keep on his hat while the curtain is up; and in the great theatres, no one shall, during the whole representation, keep on his hat after the curtain has once risen.
There shall not be employed in the public service, at the en. trance of the theatres, any but officers known to the police, and who shall wear a plate of brass, with the number of their permission and the theatre to which they belong engraved on it.
As a specimen of the daily theatrical amusements of the French capital, we select, from one of the late journals, the fol: lowing advertisement of the principal theatres: