His Picture Of The Virgin And Child Represents Simply A Very
Graceful, Beautiful Woman, Holding A Fine Little Child.
excellences in the management of his lights and shades appear in all.
In one of the halls we found a Magdalen by Battoni, which gave me more
pleasure, on first sight, than any picture in the gallery. It is a
life-sized figure of the Magdalen stretched upon the ground, reading
an open Bible. I like it, first, because the figure is every way
beautiful and well proportioned; second, on account of an elevated
simplicity hi the arrangement and general effect. The dark, rocky
background throws out distinctly the beautiful figure, raised on one
elbow, her long, golden hair floating loosely down, as she bends
forward over her book with parted lips, slightly flushed cheek, and an
air of rapt and pleased attention. Though the neck and bosom are
exposed, yet there is an angelic seriousness and gravity in the
conception of the piece which would check an earthly thought. The
woman is of that high class about whom there might seem to be a
hovering angelic presence - the perfection of beauty and symmetry,
without a tinge of sensual attraction.
All these rooms are full of artists copying different paintings, - some
upon slabs of Dresden china, - producing pictures of exquisite, finish,
and very pretty as boudoir ornaments.
After exhausting this first room, we walked through the galleries,
which I will name, to give you some idea of their extent.
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