Full text: Zeitungsausschnitte über Werke von Herman Grimm: Leben Raphael's

© Hessisches Staatsarchiv Marburg, Best. 340 Grimm Nr. Z 37 
student of Raphael to accept the assumption, ably though 
it be argued, that Raphael did not visit Florence before 
No doubt it is proper and necessary to contest the accu 
racy of Vasari when he relates the causes of Raphael’s first 
journey to Florence, and the manner in which he was led to 
make it; but it is quite another thing to deny that the 
journey took place. As early as the middle of the fifteenth 
century the most intimate connection existed between the 
painters of Perugia and those of Florence. There was not 
an artist of mark in the first who was not perfectly informed 
of the commissions entrusted to craftsmen erf the second. 
There was no road better known than the road from Pe 
rugia to Florence, which had been frequently travelled by 
Domenico Veneziano and Fra Filippo Lippi. It had been 
hinted to Perugino on the very threshold of his career that 
Florence was the only city in which an artist could rise to 
fame; and he had been to Florence, where he caused his 
name to be respected. At the very time of which we are 
treating he had been induced to revisit the Tuscan capital, 
where Michael Angelo’s " David ” lay finished and waiting 
for a pedestal. Da Vinci, too, had returned to Florence from 
Milan, and had partially completed the noble cartoon which 
was copied at a later period by so many students. What 
more probable than that the causes which induced Perugino 
to leave Perugia should lead Raphael, his pupil, to quit 
Sienna ? 
Vasari says that, when Perugino went to Florence, Raphael 
left Perugia for Citth di Castello, where he painted three pic 
tures, including the Dudley " Crucifixion " and the “ Sposa- 
lizio ” of the Brera. He then proceeded to Sienna, and took 
service with Pinturicchio, for whom he executed certain 
drawings. His connection with Pinturicchio was broken off 
because he had heard of the completion of cartoons by 
Lionardo and Michael Angelo. It is quite as natural to 
suppose that Vasari was ill informed of the causes which 
led Raphael to Florence as it is to conceive that Raphael 
painted the pictures of Cittk di Castello at Perugia. We 
can easily prove that da Vinci’s “Battle of Anghiari” was not 
finished till 1506; and Grimm gives good, though not abso 
lutely convincing, reasons for concluding that Michael 
Angelo did not allow his cartoon to; be seen till 1508. 
But putting this aside, there may have been reason enough 
for Raphael’s desire to visit Florence, if we only suppose 
him cognisant of Perugino’s presence there. He might have 
learnt from Perugino himself that Lionardo was composing 
his grand subject for the public palace; and he might expect 
facilities for seeing the masterpiece in its unfinished state 
from a man who was da Vinci’s friend, and had been his 
companion in Verrocchio’s shop. He had doubtless heard— 
as who had not ?—of the commotion caused by the question 
how the " David ” of Michael Angelo should be moved from 
its place in the sculptor’s studio to where it was in future 
to be exhibited, for this was a question which had occupied 
the mind of every one in Florence; and it is notorious that 
it led to a general congress of artists in the early part of 
1504. Why, then, should he not have gone to Florence ? 
Perugino was at Florence in 1504. He was there with 
slight interruptions till 1506. It was then that Lionardo 
gave up to him the commission which he had accepted from 
the brethren of the Santissima Annunziata de’ Servi to com 
plete the “Crucifixion” unfinished at the death of Filippino. 
Is there any reason to doubt that Raphael might have been 
in Florence in 1505, when we know that his predella of the 
“ Madonna of Sant’Antonio ” (1505) comprised an improved 
version of the very group of the Virgin and her succouring 
women which was introduced by Perugino,into the “Cru 
cifixion” of the Servi? But this is not all the evidence 
an opinion which is liable to be controverted, that the 
" Madonna" of Sant’ Onofrio at Rome is by Lionardo da 
Vinci. J. A. Crowe.

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