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called Raphael's Bible finds its place—that series of biblical scenes in the Loggia of the Vatican. And here, while he has shown that he could do something of Michielangelo's work a little more soothingly than he, this graceful Roman Catholic rivals also what is perhaps best in the work of the rude German reformer-of Luther who came to Rome about this very time, to find nothing admirable there. Place, along with them, the Cartoons, and observe that in this phase of his artistic labor, as Luther printed his vernacular German version of the Scriptures, so Raphael is popularizing them for an even larger world; brings the simple, to their great delight, face to face with the Bible as it is, in all its variety of incident, after they had so long had to content themselves with but fragments of it, as presented in the symbolism and in the brief lections of the Liturgy:-Biblia Pauperum, in a hundred forms of reproduction, though designed for popes and princes.
But then, for the wise, at the end of yet another of those divergent ways, glows his painted philosophy in the Parnassus and the School of Athens, with their numerous accessories. In the execution of those works, of course, his antiquarian knowledge stood him in good stead; and here, above all, is the pledge of his immense understanding, at work on its own natural ground on a purely intellectual deposit, the apprehension, the transmission to others of complex and difficult ideas. We have here, in fact, the sort of intelligence to be found in Lessing, in Herder, in Hegel, in those who, by the instrumentality of an organized philosophic system, have comprehended in one view or vision what poetry has been, or what Greek philosophy, as great complex dynamic facts in the world. But then, with the artist of the sixteenth century, this synoptic intellectual power worked in perfect identity with the pictorial imagination and a magic hand. By him large theoretic conceptions are addressed, so to speak, to the intelligence of the eye. There had been efforts at such abstract or theoretic painting before, or say, rather, leagues behind him. Modern efforts, again, we know, and not in Germany alone, to do the like for that larger survey of such matters which belongs to the philosophy of our own century, but for one or many reasons they have
seemed only to prove the incapacity of philosophy to be cxpressed in terms of art. They have seemed, in short, so far, not fit to be seen literally—those ideas of culture, religion, and the like. Yet Plato, as you know, supposed a kind of visible loveliness about ideas. Well! in Raphael, painted ideas, painted and visible philosophy are for once as beautiful as Plato thought they must be, if one truly apprehended them. For note, above all, that with all his wealth of antiquarian knowledge in detail, and with a perfect technique, it is after all the beauty, the grace of poetry, of pagan philosophy, of religious faith that he thus records.
Of religious faith also. The Disputa, in which, under the form of a council representative of all ages, he embodies the idea of theology, divinarum rerum notitia, as constantly resident in the Catholic Church, ranks with the “Parnassus" and the "School of Athens," if it does not rather close another of his long lines of intellectual travail
a series of compositions, partly symbolic, partly historical, in which the “Deliverance of St. Peter from Prison,” the “Expulsion of the Huns," and the “Coronation of Charlemagne," find their places; and by which, painting in the great official chambers of the Vatican, Raphael asserts, interprets the power and charm of the Catholic ideal as realized in history. A scholar, a student of the visible world, of the natural man, yet even more ardently of the books, the art, the life of the old pagan world, the age of the Renaissance had been, through all its varied activity, in spite of the weakened hold of Catholicism on the critical intellect still under its influence, the glow of it, as a religious ideal, and in the presence of Raphael you cannot think it a mere after-glow. Independently, that is, of less or more evidence for it, the whole creed of the Middle Age, as a scheme of the world as it should be, as we should be glad to find it, was still welcome to the heart, the imagination. Now, in Raphael, all the various conditions of that age discover themselves as characteristics of a vivid personal genius, which may be said therefore to be conterminous with the genius of the Renaissance itself. For him, then, in the breadth of his immense cosmopolitan intelligence, for Raphael, who had done in part the work of Luther also, the Catholic Church
—through all its phases, as reflected in its visible local center, the papacy—is alive still as of old, one and continuous, and still true to itself. Ah! what is local and visible, as you know, counts for so much with the artistic temper.
Old friends or old foes, with but new faces, events repeating themselves, as his large, clear, synoptic vision can detect, the invading King of France, Louis XII, appears as Attila : Leo X as Leo I: and he thinks of, he sees, at one and the same moment, the coronation of Charlemagne and the interview of Pope Leo with Francis I, as a dutiful son of the Church: of the deliverance of Leo X from prison, and the deliverance of St. Peter.
I have abstained from anything like description of Raphael's pictures in speaking of him and his work, have aimed rather at preparing you to look at his work for yourselves, by a sketch of his life, and therein especially, as most appropriate to this place, of Raphael as a scholar. And now if, in closing, I commend one of his pictures in particular to your imagination or memory, your purpose to see it, or see it again, it will not be the Transfiguration nor the Sixtine Madonna, nor even the “Madonna del Gran Duca,” but the picture we have in London—the Ansidei, or Blenheim, Madonna. I find there, at first sight, with something of the pleasure one has in a proposition of Euclid, a sense of the power of the understanding, in the economy with which he has reduced his material to the simplest terms, has disentangled and detached its various elements. He is painting in Florence, but for Perugia, and sends it a specimen of its own old art—Mary and the babe enthroned, with St. Nicolas and the Baptist in attendance on either side. The kind of thing people there had already seen so many times, but done better, in a sense not to be measured by degrees, with a wholly original freedom and life and grace, though he perhaps is unaware, done better as a whole, because better in every minute particular, than ever before. The scrupulous scholar, aged twenty-three, is now indeed a master; but still goes carefully. Note, therefore, how much mere exclusion counts for in the positive effect of his work. There is a saying that the true artist is known best by what he omits. Yes, because the whole question of good
taste is involved precisely in such jealous omission. Note this, for instance, in the familiar Apennine background, with its blue hills and brown towns, faultless, for oncefor once only—and observe, in the Umbrian pictures around, how often such background is marred by grotesque, natural, or architectural detail, by incongruous or childish incident. In this cool, pearl-grey, quiet place, where color tells for double—the jeweled cope, the painted book in the hand of Mary, the chaplet of red coral—one is reminded that among all classical writers Raphael's preference was for the faultless Virgil. How orderly, how divinely clean and sweet the flesh, the vesture, the floor, the earth, the sky! Ah, say rather the hand, the method of the painter! There is an unmistakable pledge of strength, of movement and animation in the cast of the Baptist's countenance, but reserved, repressed. Strange, Raphael has given him a staff of transparent crystal. Keep, then, to that picture as the embodied formula of Raphael's genius. Amid all he has here already achieved, full, we may think, of the quiet assurance of what is to come, his attitude is still that of the scholar; he seems still to be saying, before all things, from first to last, “I am utterly purposed that I will not offend.”
EDWARD JOHN PHELPS
THE SUPREME COURT AND POPULAR
[Address of Edward J. Phelps, lawyer, diplomatist, Minister to Great Britain, 1885-89 (born in Middlebury, Vt., July 11, 1822; died in New Haven, Conn., March 9, 1900), delivered at the centennial anniversary of the organization of the Supreme Court of the United States, February 4, 1890, held at the Metropolitan Opera-House, New York City, under the auspices of the New York State Bar Association. Grover Cleveland, as Chairman of the Executive Committee, presided.]
GENTLEMEN:But few words remain to be added to those so well spoken by my distinguished brethren in concluding, on the part of the bar, the expression which this occasion calls for. We have thought it well to mark in a manner thus significant and conspicuous, the centennial anniversary of our highest and greatest tribunal; to review so far as the flying hour allows, its eventful and interesting history; to recall some of its memories, cherished and imperishable; and to consider in the light of a century's experience, what has been, and what is like to be hereafter, its place and its influence as an independent constitutional power in the Federal government of this country.
We cannot forget that in its origin it was an experiment, untried and uncertain. Judicial history has not furnished another example of a court created by an authority superior to legislation and beyond the reach of executive power, clothed with a jurisdiction above the law it was appointed to administer, and charged, not merely with the general course of public justice, but with