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THE MARRIAGE OF MÀRY DE MEDICIS. for the pallet to furnish more brilliant tints than those he has employed, and combined in the . most harmonious manner.
Mary de Medicis has a robe of white satin. The dress of the grand duke is of the same stuff and colour:—his mantle is black; and the pontifical habils of the cardinal are of a lively red. Gold and precious stones glitter on the draperies of these figures, and are painted with a boldness of touch that is almost illusive. In order that the diesses of the nobles and princesses, present at the ceremony, might not equal in splendour those of the principal personages, Rubens has given to their attire soft and broken colours, which assort with each other. Hymen has a drapery of faint blue. The carpet is red, as likewise the throne, which is perceptible at the top of the picture.
Among this assemblage of brilliant tones, the group of white marble would have appeared cold, if Rubens had not conceived the ingenious idea of enlightening the inferior part, by torches placed upon the altar. They communicate, to this group, tints of a ruddy hue, which imperceptibly combine with the grey tints of the marble, and give to this part of the (rork all the vigour of which it is susceptible. ..'iv) »!i<.•»..
This picture is one of the most admirable of this valuable collection. The heads are'portraits adopted in the true and dignified taste of history. The correctness of the expressions, the beauty of the composition, the freshness and truth' of the carnations, are such as tö surpass all eulogium. '. ,... .«lit, -.".'.. 'i .и
FELICITY OF THE REGENCY.
In this very complicated allegory, Rubens has represented the happiness which accompanied the government of Mary de Medicis. This princess is seated upon a throne, richly ornamented. In one hand she holds a sceptre, and rests it upon the globe of France, which a genius upholds. In her other hand is placed the balance of Justice. Minerva appears to deliver her counsels to the queen, adjoining whom is one of the loves, symbol of the affection of the people. Abundance and Equity are contiguous" to the throne. Equity distributes crowns of laurel and medals to the genius of the arts. Ignorance, envy, and calumny are overthrown, and rendered harmless, although one of these monsters extends his arm towards the attributes of the arts, which he attempts to destroy. Time, under the figure of Saturn, crowned with fruits and flowers, shews to France the golden age, orna mented by two Fames floating in the air. In the back ground we perceive the columns of a temple decorated with foliage.
A composition so extremely rich, presented contrasts of figures, and colours, of which Rubens has taken great advantage. The figure of Mary de Medicis is dignified, correct in point of drawing, and admirably coloured. This princess is cloathed in a blue mantle, lined with ermine, under which is a robe of pale blue, tied with a knot of diamonds. The carnations of Abundance and Equity are uncommonly fresh. The robe of Equity is red. France is attired in a blue robe, with a scarlet drapery underntath. The delicate carnations of the group of children form a contrast to the animated flesh of the monsters.