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he has received it) the globe and the cube which he had formerly TOUCHED?
The amount of all the difcuffions on this fubject comes to this we will decide the queftion (fays M. MERIAN) in the, affirmative, if we can perfuade our felves that fight and touch give the fame immediate perceptions of the figure of bodies, or that we can derive the fame ideas from the immediate perceptions which we receive thereof by these two senses. We may reafonably decide the queftion in the negative, if we can prove, either that fight gives neither immediate perceptions nor abftract ideas of the figure of bodies, or that visible and tangible figures are neither the fame nor fimilar things, but are quite heterogeneous. Again-if we believe that visible figures are figns or reprefentations of tangible ones, and that there is a relation of equality between the number of their parts, as is the cafe between words written and articulate founds, we may affirm that the blind man in queftion may diftinguish the visible globe from the visible cube, as fign; if it appears that, of himfelf, he can perceive that quality and that numerical relationotherwife we muft deny it. Those who find the reasons pro and con nearly in equipoife, muft fufpend their judgment.
The reader may think that M. MERIAN has now done; but he promises us one Memoir more, which will furnish means of new discoveries. We hall expect it with pleasure.
Mem. III. Concerning Enthufiafm. By M. BEAUSOBRE.Senfible and good; but nothing uncommon.
Mem. IV. Concerning the Method of Teaching employed by Socrates. By M. CASTILLON.- -This is learned, but not mafterly. It looks like the production of a young, but promifing philologift. The line between the academics and the dogmatifts is drawn here; but we have seen it often drawn, and excellently drawn elsewhere.
As this article is already fwelled to an enormous length, we can only give the titles of the Memoirs contained in this clafs. Mem. I. A Differtation, defigned to fhew the Causes of the Superiority of the Germans over the Romans, and to prove, that the North of Germany, or Teutony, between the Rhine and the Weiffel, and particularly the prefent Pruffian Monarchy, is the original Country of thofe heroic Nations, which, in the famous ancient Migrations, deftroyed the Roman Empire, and founded and peopled the principal Monarchies of Europe. By the Baron de HERTZBERG. Mem. II. A Differtation, containing Anecdotes of the Reign of FRED. WILLIAM, the Grand Elector of Brandenburgh, and more efpecially of his Maritime Exploits. By the fame.. Mem. III. and IV. Concerning the Psychology (N. B.) of Tacitus. By M. WEGUELIN. Two Memoirs. Mem.
Mem. V. Concerning national Tafte, confidered with respect to tranflating. By M. BITAUBE. Third and laft Memoir. Mem. VI. VII. VIII. Concerning the Origin, hitherto unknown, of the Inhabitants of the German Diftrict of the Cauton of Bern. By M. de FRANCHEVILLE.
The Works of the Chevalier RAPHAEL MENGS. Firft Painter to the King of Spain, published by D. Jofeph Nicholas d'Azara. Knight of the Order of Charles III. Member of the Council of Finances, &c. 4to. 2 Vols. Parma.
N our former extract, [fee Review for Aug. laft] of the noble Work now before us, we endeavoured to give our Readers fome idea of the genius and abilities of this excellent artift, as they appear in his writings. At prefent we fhall make them acquainted with the lines of his character, and the productions of his pencil, by a compendious abridgment of his life, as it is compofed by the Chevalier d'Azara, from authentic papers..
ANTHONY RAPHAEL MENGS was born on the 10th of May, 1728, at Auffig, in Bohemia. His father, who was painter to Auguftus III. king of Poland, began very early to bend his genius toward the profeffion which he afterwards exercised with fuch diftinction. He began at the age of fix years to draw. He was carefully inftructed during his early youth in the various methods of painting, in oil, enamel, and miniature. He applied himself to the ftudy of perfpective, chemistry, and the branches of anatomy moft neceflary for a painter; and when he was thus furnished with a ftock of knowledge, that rendered him capable of ftudying with advantage the productions of the great artists in his line, his father went with him from Drefden to Rome in 1741. The admiration of young MENGS was excited by the immortal works of fculptors and painters, ancient and modern, which abounded in that capital; his mind was attracted by their various beauties; and, under the warmth of these first impreffions, he aimed at nothing lefs than the imitation of all their respective excellencies; but his father, who was a judicious guide, made him confine his ambition to the ftudy of the moft perfect models, fuch as the Laocoon and Torfo in the Belvidera, the pictures of Michael Angelo, in the chapel which bears the name of Sixtus IV. the finest heads in the faloons of Raphael, and certain clothed figures in which that immortal artift difplayed his eminent talent for drapery. After four
Most of these papers were left by M. MENGS to the Editor.
years, employed in ftudying the nobleft and most graceful productions of the pencil and the chiffel, and in drawing after the best models, he returned to Drefden. There he learned to paint in crayons, and was employed at court, where he was honoured with the rank and appointments of king's painter.
His modefty did not prevent his being expofed to envy. This is almost always the fate of eminent talents, diftinguished and rewarded. But we turn our attention from objects that do fo little honour to humanity. Mr. MENGS, during his frequent voyages to Italy, became known to Charles III. then King of Naples, who not long after his acceffion to the throne of Spain, gave generous marks of his esteem to this excellent artist, and granted him an advantageous and honourable fettlement at his court. His annual pention was 2000 double piftoles; and he was lodged, had a carriage, and was furnished with all the implements of his art, at the expence of his royal mafter.
The first productions of his pencil in Spain, were several pictures in frefco; the principal of which were, the Council of the Gods, and the Apotheofts of Hercules, reprefented on the Cieling of the king's anti-chamber, an Aurora, and the Four Seasons, painted in a faloon of the queen's apartments. His picture of Chrift taken down from the cross, painted in oil-colours, and placed in the king's bedchamber, must be a very capital performance, according to the defcription which the Chevalier d'Azara gives of it in the work before us. Every thing, (fays he) in these pictures breathes the tenderness of grief and forrow. The tone of the colouring refembles the Dorian mode in mufic, and the Doric order in architecture:' (as far he might have added, as the objects of fight and hearing will admit of a comparison) every figure expreffes the degree of affliction and fenfibility that fuits his character! The spectator beholds in the dead Saviour, a body that has fuffered moft intenfely, but perceives in it, at the fame time, the remains of a noble figure, and the veftiges of divine beauty. The artist has not disfigured it with wounds or blood, which other painters have done on like occafions, as if death could not be expreffed with energy, without diflocating or mutilating a body, and rendering it frightful or difgufting.The Virgin, reprefented ftanding, and with her eyes fixed on heaven, feems to offer to the Supreme Being the facrifice of fubmiffion, amidst the deepest anguish of which humanity is fufceptible. Her motionlefs and extatic attitude, her hanging arms, the mufcles of her countenance deprived of all action, her blue veil and pale-coloured robe, which are in fuch harmony with her complexion at this affecting moment, exhibit a figure, which it is impoffible to contemplate without the tendereft emotion.-Mary Magdalene, whofe forrow is more buman, is reprefented as taking care of the body. A flood of
tears descends from her beautiful eyes, and fhew the tenderness of her heart.-St. John is drawn with the mufcles of his forehead fwelled, and his eyes filled with blood, and discovers the agony, which the afflicted heart of a vigorous young man must fuffer, when it is not relieved by tears.-A fervant carries a vase of perfumes for the tomb, and looks at this groupe of mourning friends, with the ftupid air of a man who fuffers a fort of mechanical fympathy, without taking any real part in the scene that is paffing.'
Some time after this picture was finished, the Chevalier MENGS, drew another, at Rome, for his Catholic Majefty, which reprefents Chrift's Nativity, and in which he seemed ambitious to contend for the palm with the famous Night of Correggio. This admirable piece (of Mengs we mean) is in ftriking contraft with that which we have already described. It is all cheerful beauty, and failing grace. The carnations are life, nature, and truth. There is no light in the picture, but that which beams from the divine child. The Virgin is beautiful beyond nature, and exhibits a fublime mixture of divine and human beauty. It is in this picture that the ideal difplays its orignal powers.
The king ordered three pictures for the new chapel of the caftle of Aranjuez, and the Editor tells (as having it from MENGS himfelt) that this admirable artift executed the principal of thefe pieces, which reprefents the annunciation, in the tone and character of the mufic of Correlli. We have always thought that there are many points of analogy between the objects of our different fenfes, which vulgar geniufes do not perceive, and even many which the greatest do not difcern-at prefent. And we find fomething that pleafes us much, and gives us a very advantageous idea of the exquifite tafte, and the combining powers of this great artift, in propofing to himfelf a mufical model. • There reigns, accordingly, in this picture' (as the Editor tells us) a harmony and melody that affect the fenfes in a moft agreeable manner;-the impreffions are gentle, foft, and equable ;-among all the tones or teints, there is not one that deroys, by its force or feebleness, the tweet effect of another; and yet no difpleafing monotony is obfervable in this excellent piece. The Virgin is here again represented with fuch lines of ideal beauty, as feem above hunian conception. Her humility and her modeft joy, that fucceed an emotion of furprize and confufion, are molt happily expreffed. The beauty and air of Gabriel, and the other angels that accompany her, are fuitable to their characters as celeftial minifters; and, more especially, the countenance of the firft denotes the high fenfation of pleasure that he derived from his being charged with this important commiffion.'-The Eternal Father is,
however, reprefented perfonally in this picture, a mimetic licence which we shall ever reprobate, as the moft fhocking violation not only of truth, with which painters are allowed to take certain liberties, but of poffibility, which expofes them to the incredulus odi. A glory, or fhekinah, is much more proper on fuch an occafion, and much more noble and fublime, than any human figure, however embellished with ideal beauty. We fuppofe, that it is to perfect a groupe, that the Deity is often thus bumanized; but we must ftill repeat incredulus odi: it is infinitely more abfurd than reprefenting Newton by an oyster, or immenfity by an atom; for it is rather like reprefenting the figure of a triangle by that of a fquare; it is not only improbable but contradictory.-M. D'AZARA obferves, that in his representation of the Supreme Being, MENGS is much fuperior to Raphael, and Michael Angelo, who have always given him a fevere and terrible afpect; which by the bye, is not true of Raphael, who, at leaft in one picture, gives Him an air, which though awful, is ferene; and ferenity is the nobleft image of Goodness. However that may be, MENGS, fince he was refolved to perfonify, has done it, perhaps better than his predeceffors. In place of the violet coloured drapery used on this occafion, by the painters above-mentioned, he has fubftituted a white garment, which, fays our Editor, is more expreffive of majefty (rather we think of purity) and goodness.-The celebrated artist died before this fine picture was entirely finished as to the colouring, though few that fee it will think fo.
Mr MENGS was married to a virtuous and beautiful woman, whofe death afflicted him fo deeply, that it affected his health, which had been previously impaired by affidious and intense application and labour. He died at Rome in the year 1779, and his death is fuppofed to have been, at leaft, accelerated by the advice and medicines of one of his countrymen, a quack doctor, in whom he imprudently confided. He was interred, in prefence of the Profeffors of the Academy of St. Luke, in the parish church of St Michael, on the declivity of the Janiculum.. The Chevalier D'AZARA placed his portrait in Bronze, next to to that of Raphael, in the Pantheon, with the following infcription:
Ant. Raphaeli Mengs
Jos. Nic. de. Azara Amico Suo, P.
Vixit annos LI, menfes 111, dies XVII.
In M. D'AZARA's remarks, on the talents and genius of his friend, he obferves, that Raphael, Correggio, and Titian were his great models; the firft for drawing and expreffion, the fecond for grace and fhadow, and the last for colouring. It was the firit,