Caravaggio, Polidoro Caldara Da

, another eminent artist, was born in 1492, at Caravaggio jn the Milanese; from a labourer he became an assistant of Raphael in the works of the Vatican, and acquired supreme celebrity for unrivalled felicity in imitating the antique basso-relievos with a power little, if at all, inferior to that of the ancients themselves. These admirable works he | executed in chiaroscuro. He was the inventor of a style which rose and perished with him. His design was without manner, compact, correct. He had the art of transposing himself into the times of which he represented the transactions, the costume, and rites: nothing modern swims on his works. Koine once abounded in friezes, facades, supraportas, painted by him and jVIaturino of Florence his companion, of which, to the irreparable detriment of the art, scarcely a fragment remains, if we except the Fable of Niobe, left in ruins by time and the rage of barbarians. This, one of his most classic labours, once decorated the outside of the Maschera d’Oro. All the compensation we have for these losses are the prints of Cherubino Albevti, and Henry Golzius, who engraved his Gods, the Niobe, and the Brennus; beside the etchings of Santes Bartoli and Gallestruzzi.

When Bourbon stormed and pillaged Rome in 1527, Polidoro fled to Naples, but did not live there, as Vasari was misinformed, in a starving condition. Having been received in the house of Andrea da Salerno, and introduced by him ro general notice, he soon was furnished with commissions sufficiently numerous, and even had begun to form a school, when he resolved to pass over to Sicily. He had now exchanged chiaroscuro for colour, and painted at Messina a numerous composition of te Christ led to Calvary," extolled by Vasari to the skies, but he did not long survive this work, being strangled in bed, in 1543, by a servant of his, who wanted to possess himself of his property. The merits of Polidoro as a colourist can only be learned in Sicily. To judge from some pieces once in the possession of Gavin Hamilton, his manner, for some time at least, was dim and pallid. 1


Pilkington, Angerville, vol. II.