ページの画像
PDF
ePub

Mayence has a very pretty entrance from the north, by a winding road through trees; but the town itself has very little attraction. To my eyes too, it is a very grievous annoyance, that every fifth, literally every fifth man you meet is a soldier; there being six thousand troops quartered in a town of twenty-six thousand inhabitants.

We visited a gallery of paintings, which has some original pieces by the masters.” “An ASsumption of the Virgin,” by Annibal Carracci, in which the Supreme Being is represented as a ven. erable man—a conception quite shocking indeed; but when you throw away that idea, which you may easily do, for it is difficult to retain it, the painting of that countenance is very fine; also, a “Mary presenting to a Carmelite the habit of his order,” by Carracci. The upward, reverent gaze of the old man, the loveliness of the Virgin, were things to dwell upon for some moments at least. A very beautiful old painting of St. Appollonia, by Dominichino; a “Lot and his Daughters,” by Michael Angelo—the fire, eagerness, and fondness of intoxication in the poor old man, with his hand outstretched towards the bowl, into which one of the daughters is pouring wine—and the beauty of the daughters, are the points of attraction; nor is the appearance of the outpoured wine to be forgotten,

[ocr errors]

FRANKFORT ON THE MAYN. 181

A “Le Petit Jesus,” by Jacques Jordan—i.e., Jesus
teaching in the temple—nothing good but the ap-
pearance of the Jewish doctors, and that was very
striking; some of them, in the colouring of the
flesh, by-the-by, singularly like those heads of
Jews by Alston, exhibited a year or two ago at
the Boston Athenaeum.
FRANKFort on THE MAYN is worthy of its old
fame, of its historical associations, and of being the
seat of the Germanic Diet. Some of the streets
are gloriously ancient in their appearance; and the
modern ones have very good buildings, and all
are very neat. There are fine seats, too, in the en-
virons, reminding us for the first time of the neigh-
bourhoods of our own cities. The walls, too, and
fortifications, like those of Brussels, are levelled;
but instead of being planted with regular rows
of trees, they are laid out in winding walks, inter-

spersed with shrubbery and trees. The cathedral,

here, is a very ancient-looking pile, and the tower with its pinnacles is very grand; the style pure Gothic. There are some old houses here of a very extraordinary appearance. They are very small on the ground, and at the same time very lofty; and being covered entirely, not only on the roof, but the sides, with small, black, shining pieces of

slate, they look like giants clad in ancient armour. WOL. I.-Q

DARMSTADT-a beautiful town, with fine avenues through rows of linden trees, on the road to May. ence, and also southward. The chief attraction to us, however, was the gallery of pictures (six or eight hundred in number) in the palace of the Duke of Hesse Darmstadt. Some beautiful ruins and landscapes, by Schonberger; two admirable winter pieces, by Fosci; a striking portrait by Lanterre; animals, by Sneyder; a St. John, by Corregio. By Titian,“a Sleeping Venus”—the face particularly— the flush, the fulness of deep sleep—the something almost like delicate perspiration. By Dominichino, “a David and Nathan”—“Thou art the man!"— the prophet standing above the king, who shrinks back in his chair, with a fear-stricken aspect—the prophet's dignity and fixed eye. By Schmidt, “a Diana, and Nymphs bathing”—exquisite beauty of form and softness of outline—“Adam and Eve,” also, by Schmidt—(German)—a painting of great power. Adam and Eve are flying from paradise; in the back ground, the sky lowers with a tempest, and lightning flashes vengeance across the dark cloud. Adam's countenance and brow especially are full of suppressed, sustained, and manly sorrow; Eve leans upon his breast, as they hurry along, with her face to the ground, and with such an expression of fear in the eye—of fear, not ago

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

HEIDELBERG. 183

nizing, but clear, bright, spirituelle, subdued, mod-
est, feminine, as, I think, I can never forget. The
contrast of manly strength and female loveliness,
in the picture, is very striking. But last and great-
est of all, is “Rembrandt's portrait of his second
wife”—so beautiful, so natural, so speaking, so
heavenly in the expression of the bright, calm, pure,
and almost living eye, that I could have kneeled
before it, as the Catholic does before the Virgin
Mary.
HEIDELBERG. The situation very delightful, on
the banks of the Neckar. The ruins of the castle,
on the brow of the hill southward, are more beautiful
far, than any castellated ruin I have seen in Eng-
land; said by Scheiber's guide book to be also the
most beautiful in Germany. The walls are stand-
ing, in very good preservation, and are ornamented,
I should judge, with not less than eighty or one
hundred statues, also very perfectly preserved.
These, with the niches and canopies, and the
work in and over the windows, together with many
armorial bearings, present a vast proportion of
sculpture, though the building is not Gothic. An
immensely deep fosse surrounds the castle; there
is a fine, paved esplanade in front, and another back
of it, laid out with walks, and imbowered with
trees; and the views, up the Neckar, through richly
wooded and vine-clad hills, and downward upon
the town, and beyond, upon a broad and boundless
plain, watered by the same river, also stretching
towards the Rhine—are exceedingly fine.
HEPPENHEIM, on the road from Darmstadt and
Heidelberg, is situated amid very charming
scenery. The majestic ruin of Starkenburg Castle
is on a neighbouring height. At Bensheim, notfar
from Heppenheim, we saw, for the first time in
Europe, Indian corn.
OFFENBURG, SEPTEMBER 5. We are still in the
valley of the Rhine, though at some distance from
the river. The scenery for the last day or two
more resembles that of our Connecticut river, than
anything else ; but the ruin of an old castle, now
and then appearing on the neighbouring hills, is a
feature which is never to appear in the landscapes
of the Connecticut. The time of feudal sovereign-
ties and castles has gone by in the civilized world.
Princely dwellings, indeed, are built, and will be
built; but they are no longer perched upon almost
inaccessible crags and mountains, to be forsaken
when the times of danger have passed away. The
English castles now in ruins, were not indeed so
inconveniently situated; but still they were built for
defence, and not for comfort, and have been given
up as much from their inconvenience as from their

[ocr errors]
« 前へ次へ »