Torrent Pro Landscape Version 18 Ita.336
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Beating Sunby Philippe PetitVENICE 2022: Philippe Petit signs a very engaging first feature film about a landscape gardener trying to overcome obstacles in the way of a personal and utopian open garden project
On the 24th of May, I returned to Wotton; and, on the28th of June, I went to London with my sister, Jane,and the day after sat to one Vanderborcht for my picturein oil, at Arundel-house, whose servant that excellentpainter was, brought out of Germany when the Earlreturned from Vienna (whither he was sent Ambassador-extraordinary,with great pomp and charge, though with[Pg 15]outany effect, through the artifice of the Jesuited Spaniardwho governed all in that conjuncture). With Vanderborcht,the painter, he brought over Winceslaus Hollar,the sculptor, who engraved not only the unhappy Deputy'strial in Westminster-hall, but his decapitation; as he didseveral other historical things, then relating to the accidentshappening during the Rebellion in England, withgreat skill; besides many cities, towns, and landscapes,not only of this nation, but of foreign parts, and diversportraits of famous persons then in being; and thingsdesigned from the best pieces of the rare paintings andmasters of which the Earl of Arundel was possessor,purchased and collected in his travels with incredibleexpense: so as, though Hollar's were but etched inaquafortis, I account the collection to be the mostauthentic and useful extant. Hollar was the son of agentleman near Prague, in Bohemia, and my very goodfriend, perverted at last by the Jesuits at Antwerp tochange his religion; a very honest, simple, well-meaningman, who at last came over again into England, wherehe died. We have the whole history of the king's reign,from his trial in Westminster-hall and before, to therestoration of King Charles II., represented in severalsculptures, with that also of Archbishop Laud, by thisindefatigable artist; besides innumerable sculptures inthe works of Dugdale, Ashmole, and other historicaland useful works. I am the more particular upon thisfor the fruit of that collection, which I wish I hadentire.
13th August, 1641. We arrived late at Rotterdam, wherewas their annual mart or fair, so furnished with pictures(especially landscapes and drolleries, as they call thoseclownish representations), that I was amazed. Some ofthese I bought and sent into England. The reason ofthis store of pictures, and their cheapness, proceeds fromtheir want of land to employ their stock, so that it is anordinary thing to find a common farmer lay out two orthree thousand pounds in this commodity. Their housesare full of them, and they vend them at their fairs tovery great gains. Here I first saw an elephant, who was[Pg 20]extremely well disciplined and obedient. It was a beastof a monstrous size, yet as flexible and nimble in the joints,contrary to the vulgar tradition, as could be imaginedfrom so prodigious a bulk and strange fabric; but I mostof all admired the dexterity and strength of its proboscis,on which it was able to support two or three men, and bywhich it took and reached whatever was offered to it; itsteeth were but short, being a female, and not old. I wasalso shown a pelican, or onocratulas of Pliny, with itslarge gullets, in which he kept his reserve of fish; theplumage was white, legs red, flat, and film-footed, likewisea cock with four legs, two rumps and vents: also a henwhich had two large spurs growing out of her sides, penetratingthe feathers of her wings.
In one of the rooms of state was an excellent paintingof Poussin, being a Satyr kneeling; over the chimney,the Coronation of the Virgin, by Paulo Veronese; anotherMadonna over the door, and that of Joseph, by Cigali;in the Hall, a Cavaliero di Malta, attended by his page,said to be of Michael Angelo; the Rape of Proserpine,with a very large landscape of Correggio. In the nextroom are some paintings of Primaticcio, especially theHelena, the naked Lady brought before Alexander,well painted, and a Ceres. In the bedchamber a pictureof the Cardinal de Liancourt, of Raphael, rarely colored.In the cabinet are divers pieces of Bassano, two ofPolemburg, four of Paulo Brill, the skies a little tooblue. A Madonna of Nicholao, excellently painted on astone; a Judith of Mantegna; three women of Jeronimo;one of Stenwick; a Madonna after Titian, and a Magdalenof the same hand, as the Count esteems it: two smallpieces of Paulo Veronese, being the Martyrdoms of St. Justinaand St. Catherine; a Madonna of Lucas Van Leyden,sent him from our King; six more of old Bassano; two excellentdrawings of Albert; a Magdalen of Leonardo daVinci; four of Paulo; a very rare Madonna of Titian, given[Pg 55]him also by our King; the Ecce Homo, shut up in aframe of velvet, for the life and accurate finishing exceedingall description. Some curious agates, and a chapletof admirable invention, the intaglios being all on fruitstones. The Count was so exceeding civil, that he wouldneeds make his lady go out of her dressing room, that hemight show us the curiosities and pictures in it.
The next day I was carried to see a French gentle[Pg 64]man'scurious collection, which abounded in fair and richjewels of all sorts of precious stones, most of them ofgreat sizes and value; agates and onyxes, some of themadmirably colored and antique; nor inferior were hislandscapes from the best hands, most of which he hadcaused to be copied in miniature; one of which, rarelypainted on stone, was broken by one of our company, bythe mischance of setting it up: but such was the temperand civility of the gentleman, that it altered nothing ofhis free and noble humor.
26th September, 1644. We arrived at Roane, where wequitted our guide, and took post for Lyons. Roaneseemed to me one of the pleasantest and most agreeableplaces imaginable, for a retired person: for, besides thesituation on the Loire, there are excellent provisionscheap and abundant. It being late when we left thistown, we rode no further than Tarare that night (passing[Pg 76]St. Saforin), a little desolate village in a valley near apleasant stream, encompassed with fresh meadows andvineyards. The hills which we rode over before we descended,and afterward, on the Lyons side of this place,are high and mountainous; fir and pines growing frequentlyon them. The air methought was much alteredas well as the manner of the houses, which are builtflatter, more after the eastern manner. Before I wentto bed, I took a landscape of this pleasant terrace. Therefollowed a most violent tempest of thunder and lightning.
We went hence to the Palace of the Dukes, where isalso the Court of Justice; thence to the Merchant's Walk,rarely covered. Near the Ducal Palace we saw the publicarmory, which was almost all new, most neatly keptand ordered, sufficient for 30,000 men. We were showedmany rare inventions and engines of war peculiar to thatarmory, as in the state when guns were first put in use.The garrison of the town chiefly consists of Germans andCorsicans. The famous Strada Nova, built wholly ofpolished marble, was designed by Rubens, and for statelinessof the buildings, paving, and evenness of the street,is far superior to any in Europe, for the number ofhouses; that of Don Carlo Doria is a most magnificentstructure. In the gardens of the old Marquis Spinola,I saw huge citrons hanging on the trees, applied likeour apricots to the walls. The churches are no less splendidthan the palaces; that of St. Francis is wholly built ofParian marble; St. Laurence, in the middle of the city,of white and black polished stone, the inside wholly incrustedwith marble and other precious materials; on thealtar of St. John stand four sumptuous columns of porphyry;and here we were showed an emerald, supposedto be one of the largest in the world. The church of St.[Pg 86]Ambrosio, belonging to the Jesuits, will, when finished,exceed all the rest; and that of the Annunciada, foundedat the charges of one family, in the present and futuredesign can never be outdone for cost and art. Fromthe churches we walked to the Mole, a work of solid hugestone, stretching itself near 600 paces into the main sea,and secures the harbor, heretofore of no safety. Of allthe wonders of Italy, for the art and nature of the design,nothing parallels this. We passed over to the Pharos,or Lantern, a tower of very great height. Here wetook horses, and made the circuit of the city as far asthe new walls, built of a prodigious height, and withHerculean industry; witness those vast pieces of wholemountains which they have hewn away, and blown upwith gunpowder, to render them steep and inaccessible.They are not much less than twenty English miles in extent,reaching beyond the utmost buildings of the city.From one of these promontories we could easily discernthe island of Corsica; and from the same, eastward, wesaw a vale having a great torrent running through a mostdesolate barren country; and then turning our eyes morenorthward, saw those delicious villas of St. Pietro d'Arena,which present another Genoa to you, the ravishingretirements of the Genoese nobility. Hence, with muchpain, we descended toward the Arsenal, where the galleyslie in excellent order.
2d November, 1644. We went from Sienna, desirousof being present at the cavalcade of the new Pope, InnocentX.,21 who had not yet made the grand procession toSt. John di Laterano. We set out by Porto Romano,the country all about the town being rare for huntingand game. Wild boar and venison are frequently sold inthe shops in many of the towns about it. We passednear Monte Oliveto, where the monastery of that Orderis pleasantly situated, and worth seeing. Passing over abridge, which, by the inscription, appears to have beenbuilt by Prince Matthias, we went through Buon-Convento,famous for the death of the Emperor, Henry VII., whowas here poisoned with the Holy Eucharist. TORRINIERIThence, wecame to Torrinieri, where we dined. This village is in asweet valley, in view of Montalcino, famous for the rareMuscatello.22 After three miles more, we go by St. Quirico,and lay at a private osteria near it, where, after we wereprovided of lodging, came in Cardinal Donghi, a Genoeseby birth, now come from Rome; he was so civil as toentertain us with great respect, hearing we were English,for that, he told us he had been once in our country.Among other discourse, he related how a dove had beenseen to sit on the chair in the Conclave at the electionof Pope Innocent, which he magnified as a great goodomen, with other particulars which we inquired of him,till our suppers parted us. He came in great state withhis own bedstead and all the furniture, yet would by nomeans suffer us to resign the room we had taken up inthe lodging before his arrival. Next morning, we rodeby Monte Pientio, or, as vulgarly called, Monte Mantumiato,which is of an excessive height, ever and anonpeeping above any clouds with its snowy head, till wehad climbed to the inn at Radicofani, built by Ferdinand, thegreat Duke, for the necessary refreshment of travelersin so inhospitable a place. As we ascended, we entereda very thick, solid, and dark body of clouds, looking likerocks at a little distance, which lasted near a mile in goingup; they were dry misty vapors, hanging undissolved for[Pg 97]a vast thickness, and obscuring both the sun and earth,so that we seemed to be in the sea rather than in theclouds, till, having pierced through it, we came into amost serene heaven, as if we had been above all humanconversation, the mountain appearing more like a greatisland than joined to any other hills; for we could perceivenothing but a sea of thick clouds rolling under our feetlike huge waves, every now and then suffering the topof some other mountain to peep through, which we coulddiscover many miles off: and between some breaches ofthe clouds we could see landscapes and villages of thesubjacent country. This was one of the most pleasant,new, and altogether surprising objects that I had everbeheld. 2b1af7f3a8