Twenty years earlier Edward Wright had written of Meyer's youngest boy "The little naked boy could hardly have been outdone, if I may dare to say such a word, by Raphael himself." And in our own day that fine and measured critic, Mrs.
Agnes, before the Porta Pia, among many other beautiful columns are four of porphyry, belonging to the high altar, and considered the most beautiful in Rome. In a small chapel is a bust of the Savior by Michael Angelo a masterpiece. In the church of St. Augustine, there is a picture by Raphael representing the prophet Isaiah, and an Ascension by Lanfranco.
I desire the happiness of others, because I desire my own; and the desire of the happiness of others we call benevolence and love. Now, my most worthy Raphael, let me look round. The height has been ascended, the mist is dissipated; I stand in the midst of immensity, as in the middle of a glowing landscape. A purer ray of sunlight has clarified all my thoughts.
For, while he admits that Raphael was the greatest master of composition that Europe has produced, he evidently thinks of composition, as do so many other moderns, as a matter of relatively little importance. It is not Raphael's popularity that is in question; that is, perhaps, as great as ever it was.
The day's ride included a visit to Agrippa's Pantheon, now denuded of its bronze roofing and marble exterior. A circular opening in the huge dome admits both light and rain. Leo standing with Lucille by the tomb of Raphael in one of the recesses, for a moment was silent.
Many would think it a disparagement to connect the names of Milton or Virgil, Raphael or Michael Angelo, with those of the greatest musical masters; and it may seem not easy to say whether this feeling is the result of injustice or accident, on the one hand; or, on the other, is founded on some deep and solid truth in the laws and elements of our nature.
Some of his works, in their perfection of line, their regard for details, their purity and their moderation remind one of Ingres's drawings which express so much in such a simple way. And Ingres, as well, although he tried to imitate Raphael, could only be himself. Reber would have been worthy of comparison with the painter, if he had had the power and productiveness which distinguish genius.
Be with me always," he added, pressing her solemnly to his beating heart. "Death may come when it will," said Pauline in ecstasy; "I have lived!" Happy he who shall divine their joy, for he must have experienced it. "I wish that no one might enter this dear garret again, my Raphael," said Pauline, after two hours of silence.
They wished to have the young artist join them in their merry-makings, in their extravagances and in their mad tricks; he would do so for a short time, for his blood was warm, his imagination strong; he could take his part in their merry conversation, and laugh as loudly as the others; and yet "the merry life of Raphael," as they named it, vanished from him like the morning mist, when he saw the godlike lustre which shone forth from the paintings of the great masters, or when he stood in the Vatican and beheld the forms of beauty, which the old sculptors had fashioned from blocks of marble, centuries ago.
As the boy grew up Ridolfo frequented those public schools of art before spoken of, the Brancacci Chapel, and the study of the cartoons in the Papal Hall. Here he secured the friendship not only of Granacci and Pier di Cosimo, but of Raphael himself, with whom he visited Fra Bartolommeo in his convent.