Rouen had been relieved in masterly manner even as Paris had been succoured the year before. He had done this, although opposed by the sleepless energy and the exuberant valour of the quick-witted Navarre, and although encumbered by the assistance of the ponderous Duke of Mayenne. His military reputation, through these two famous reliefs and retreats, grew greater than ever.
Ricci, being also constructed from its remains, as were other buildings in Ravenna. Then like the Rocca Malatestiana at Rimini it came to be used as a mere prison, and when it failed to prove useful for that purpose it was allowed to become the picturesque ruin we see. Upon the Torre del Ponte of old were set two great reliefs; on high the Madonna and Child and beneath the Lion of S. Mark.
The reliefs form in the same order as when the guard was first divided, except that if the guard consists of dismounted cavalry and infantry, the cavalry forms on the left.
A considerable quantity of marble slabs, with reliefs and cuneiform inscriptions, were carefully detached from the walls and sent to England. When I was at Bassora, a whole cargo of similar remains lay near the Tigris, and among others a sphynx. On our return we visited the village Nebbi Yunus, which is situated on a slight eminence near the ruins.
In Drake's studio I saw statues, busts, and reliefs grow out of the rude mass of clay; I saw the plaster cast turned into marble, and the master, with his sure hand, evoking splendid forms from the primary limestone. What I could not understand, the calm, kindly man explained with unfailing patience, and so I got an early insight into the sculptor's creative art.
To see these reliefs best, one should stand directly across the lagoon from the rotunda. In the panel facing East one sees the figure of Art personified. On either side is a group showing the champions of art combating centaurs, that stand for the commonplace, materialistic things of life.
Nevertheless, the secular 'Trionfi' were far more frequent than the religious. They were modelled on the procession of the Roman Imperator, as it was known from the old reliefs and the writings of ancient authors. The historical conceptions then prevalent in Italy, with which these shows were closely connected, have already been discussed.
These images are only omitted upon reliefs that are purely narrative and historical, like most of those in the Assyrian palaces. Everywhere else, upon every object and in every scene having a religious and sacred character, a place is reserved for the symbols in question, if we may call them so.
In any case, a great battle was fought, both by land and sea, and the Egyptian army and fleet were entirely successful in the double encounter. The reliefs of Ramses at Medinet Habu show the details of the battle, the Egyptian fleet penetrating and overthrowing that of the sea-peoples, while the Pharaoh from the shore assists by archery in the discomfiture of his enemies.
Devoid of all ornamentation, and consequently naked, three doors or portals, surmounted by a peculiar egg-shaped ogival arch, open into the nave and aisles. Originally they were richly decorated by means of sculptural reliefs and statuary, but in the plateresque period of the sixteenth century they were demolished.