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    z88 THE RENAISSANCEthe calculation of forces and of the strength of the musdes;patience also may be wanting, so that you lack perseverance. As to whether all these things were found in me ornot, the hundred and twenty books composed by me willgive verdict. Yes or No. In these I have been hindered neither by avarice nor negligence, but simply by want of time.Farewell.

    PHILOSOPHICAL MAXIMS(1133). Thou, 0 God, dost sell us all good things at theprice of labour.(1140). And you, 0 Man, who will discern in this workof mine the wonderful works of Nature, if you think itwould be a criminal thing to destroy it, reflect how muchmore criminal it is to take the life of a man; and if this,his external form appears to thee marvellously constructed,remember that i t is nothing as compared with the soul thatdwells in that structure; for that, indeed, be it what it may,

    is a thing divine. Leave it then to dwell in its work at itsgood will and pleasure, and let not your rage or malice destroy a life-for indeed, he who does not value it, does nothimself deserve it.MORALS

    (116z). Now you see that the hope and the desire ofreturning to the first state of chaos is like the moth to thelight, and that the man who with constant longing awaitswith joy each new springtime, each new summer, each newmonth and new year-deeming that the things he longs forare ever too late in coming-does not perceive that he islonging for his own destruction. But this desire is the veryquintessence, the spirit of the elements, which finding itselfimprisoned with the soul is ever longing to return from thehuman body to its giver. And you must know that this samelonging is that quintessence, inseparable from nature, andthat man is the image of the world.

    A REPORT TO POPE LEO X ON ANCIENT ROME [This report to Pope Leo X (1513-15Z1) on the condition of the Roman monuments and ruins in the Eternal City

    at the time has been assigned for want of specific evidenceof authorship to Bramante, Raphael, Baldassare Castiglione and others. Raphael (1483-15zo), prominent amongthe artists at the papal COUlt of Julius II, became, with theelection of Giovanni de' Medici, second son of Lorenzp theMagnificent, to the papacy, the dominant figure at the Vatican court concerned with the varying interests of the Pope.He was in charge of the great fresco series to decorate thepalace, executing himself the Camera della Segnatura,succeeded Bramante (t1514) as the architect of St. Peter s.However, his few remaining letters show him to have beeninept at expressing himself in writing.Baldassare Castiglione (1478-15z9), the envoy of GuidoMontfeltro, Duke of Urbino, at the Vatican, known best asthe author of Il Cortegiano (The Courtier), describing thequalities possessed by the Italian gentleman of the Renaissance, was a distinguished man of letters. In the Castiglionefamily library has been found a draft of the report to thePope in Baldassare's writing, containing personal idiosyncrasies of punctuation and elements of his Mantovan dialect. As Raphael and Baldassare were intimate friends, it ispossible Baldassare wrote the report in collaboration withRaphael.]A REPORT TO THE POPE ON ANCIENT ROMEI

    There are many men, Most Holy Father, who, since theymeasure with their own feeble judgement the great thingswritten of the Romans-of their arms, their city of Romewith its wonderful art, riches, ornament and the grandeur1 Translated from ext given in J. Vogel, Bramante e R a f f a e l ~ o ,Kunstwissenschriftliche Studien IV, Leipzig, 1910, and V. GoIZIO,RafJaeUo, nei documenti e neUe testimonianze det contemporaneie nella letteratura del suo secolo, Pontificio Accademia Artistica

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    29 0 THE: RENAISSANCEof its buildings-believe these things to be more fable thantruth. '

    But to me it has seemed, and does still seem, otherwise.For, if one considers what may still be seen amid theruins of Rome, and what divine gifts there dwelt in thehearts of the men of ancient times, it does not seem unreasonable to believe that many things which to US would appear to be impossible were simple for them. Now I havegiven much study to these ancient edifices: I have taken nosmall effort to look them over with care and to measurethem with diligence. I have read the best authors of thatage and compared what they had written with the workswhich they described, and I can therefore say that Ihave acquired at least some knowledge of the ancientarchitecture.

    On the one hand, this knowledge of so many excellentthings has given me the greatest pleasure: on the otherhand the greatest grief. For I behold this noble city, whichwas the queen of the world, so wretchedly wounded as tobe almost a corpse. Therefore I feel, as every man mustfeel, pity for his kindred and for his country. I feel constrained to use every part of my poor strength to bring tolife some likeness, or even a shade of that which once wasthe true and universal fatherland of all Christians. ForRome was so noble and so powerful that men believed herto be, alone under the heavens, above all fortune and beyond nature, exempt from death and destined to endure forever. It seemed that time, jealous of the glories of men andnot wholly trusting to her own powers for their destruction,allied herself with the fortunes of the heathen and iniquitous barbarians who added sword and fire to the sharp fileand the poisonous teeth of the chisel. So the famous workswhich now more than ever should appear in the flower oftheir beauty, were burned and destroyed by the brutal rageand savage passions of men wicked as the wild beasts. Yetnot completely so, for there still remains to us the skeletonof those things, though without their ornament-the bonesdei Virtuosi al Pantheon, Vatican City, 1936. See also V. Cian,"Nel Mondo di Baldassare Castiglioni," Archivo StorieD Lom-bardo, Nuova Serle, Milan, 1942.

    REPORT ON ANCIENT ROME 29 1of the body without the flesh, one might say. And whyshould we bewail the Goths, the Vandals, and other perfidious enemies of the Latin name, when those who aboveall others should be fathers and guardians in the defenceof the poor relics of Rome, have even given themselves overto the study-long study-of how these might be destroyedand disappear. How many Pontiffs, Holy Father, who heldthe same office as yourself, though without the same knowledge, the same valour or greatness of soul-how many, Isay, of these Pontiffs have permitted the ruin and defacement of the ancient temples, of statues and arches and otheredifices that were the glory of their builders? How manyallowed the very foundations to be undermined that pozzolana might be dug from them, so that, in but a little time,the buildings fell to the ground? How much lime has beenburned from the statues and ornaments of ancient time? Iam bold to ask how much of all this new Rome that we seetoday, however great, however beautiful, however adornedwith palaces and churches and other buildings has beenbuilt with lime made from ancient marbles? Nor can I remember without grief that during the time I have spent inRome-not yet twelve years-so many beautiful things havebeen ruined: as, for example, the Meta that was in the ViaAlexandrina; the arch at the entrance to the Baths ofDiocletian; the Temple of Ceres on the Sacred Way; a partof the Forum Transitorium burned and destroyed only afew days ago and lime made from its marbles; and thegreater part of the Basilica of the Fonun, ruined. Besidesall these, how many columns ha ve been broken and crackedin two, how many architraves and beautiful friezes shattered? I t is the infamy of our time that we have sufferedthese things, of which it can truly be said that by comparison with what has been done today Hannibal would appearto have been a pious2 man. Therefore, 0 Holy Father, letit not be last in the thought of Your Holiness to have a carethat the little which remains of the ancient mother of gloryand of the Italian name, witness of the divine spirits whose

    2 Or: "that neither Hannibal nor any other did more ." N.B.pio appears in the dictionary as an old form of pia.

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    293292 THE RENAISSANCEmemory even today creates and moves us to virtue-spiritsstill alive among us-should not be altogether wiped out bythe depredations of the evil and the ignorant. These, unhappily, do hurt to those souls who of their own bloodbrought forth so much glory for the world, for our countryand for ourselves. May Your Holiness, while keeping theexample of the ancient world still alive among us, hasten toequal and to surpass the men of ancient days, as you evennow do, by setting up magnificent buildings, by sustainingand encouraging the virtuous, by fostering talent, by rewarding all noble effort-thus sowing the fruitful seedsamong the Christian princes. For, as by the calamities ofwar are brought to birth the destruction and the ruin ofthe arts and sciences, so from peace and concord are bornthe happiness of men and that highly-prized serenity ofspirit that may imbue us with strength to accomplish workreaching to the heights of achievement. Because of the divine wisdom and authority of Your Holiness this has becomethe hope of every man of our century. And this is truly tobe the merciful Shepherd, yes, the greatest Father of theworld.But to go back to what I have already said: Your Holinesshas commanded me to make a drawing of ancient Rome3-as much as may be known from what can be seen todaywith those buildings showing so much of what remains that,with careful study, you may know exactly what they were.Those that are completely ruined and no longer visible maybe understood by the study of those that still stand and canbe seen. To this end I have tried to use every skill of mine,so that the mind of Your Holiness and those others whoshall profit by our effort shall no longer be left in ignorance,but enjoy the fruits of our work. I have studied in manyLatin authors these things that I mean to set forth, butamong all these I have chiefly followed P. Victore, since hewas one of the latest of them all, and can give more particular information on the works of that time, while notneglecting the older ones. In his writings he identifies the

    8 The literary evidence that Raphael made such a drawingis given by Vincenzo Golzio, op. cit.

    REPORT ON ANCIENT ROMEdifferent regions by means of some of the ancient marbleshe also describes.To some it might seem difficult to distinguish the ancientfrom the modern buildings, or the most ancient from thoseof lesser age. To leave no doubt in the minds of those whowish to have such knowledge I would say that with a littleeffort one may attain to it. For there are only three stylesof building to be found in Rome: the first is that of thegood antique, which lasted from the first Emperors untilthe time when Rome was ruined and despoiled by the Gothsand other barbarians; the second is what prevailed fromthat time until the Gothic domination of Rome and for onehundred years afterwards; the third is from that age untilour own. The modem buildings are easily known, not onlybecause they are new but also because they are not of suchexcellent workmanship, nor are they built at such a greatcost as that of the ancient edifices that we see and admire.For although in our own day architecture is active and approaches very nearly to the antique style, as may be seenin many beautiful buildings of Bramante, the ornamentation nevertheless is not made of such precious material asthat used by the men of ancient times, who spent an immense amount to realize what they had imagined, and bythe strength of their will overcame every difficulty. Thebuildings of the time of the Goths, however, are so whollvwithout grace or of any style whatsoever that they are unlike both ancient and modern. It is therefore not difficultto recognize the buildings of the period of the Emperors,which are more excellent in style and built more perfectly,at greater expense and with more art than all the others.I t is only of the work of this period that I wish to speak.There is no need for any man to question whether the lessancient of this era are lesser in beauty, less well conceivedor of a different style. For they were all built in the samemanner of beauty. And although many of the buildingswere often restored by the men of that age, as we may readthat in the same place where the Golden House of Nerohad stood the Baths of Titus and his House and the Amphitheatre were built, nevertheless these were constructed inthe same style and manner as the other edifices of a time

  • 7/28/2019 0402 Raphael's Letter


  • 7/28/2019 0402 Raphael's Letter


    THE RENAISSANCE296posite of each other. Nor is it difficult to distinguish themfrom those of our own modem age, even if it were not forthe novelty which makes them noticeable.I have now spoken enough of the ancient buildings ofRome to show that it was of these that I wished to speak,and also to make plain how easy it is to distinguish themfrom the others. I t remains now for me to teach the methodby which we have tried to measure and draw them, so thatanyone who himself wishes to devote himself to architecturemay learn by this method to execute both processes without error.It is right to know that in the description of tbis methodwe have not been governed by chance, or by experienceOiily, but by following a well thought-out plan. I havenever heard or read that the men of ancient times knew ofthe method used by us of measuring with the magneticcompass, and I therefore believe it to be a modem invention. However, it seems wise to expound it in detail, to onewho is not acquainted with it.

    A round flat instrument, like an astrolabe,4 should beconstructed, about two hand-spans in diameter, or as muchlarger or smaller as the user may wish. The circumferenceof the instrument should be divided into eight equal parts,and in each part should be written the name of one of theeight winds. . . .... If, wishing in every way to obey, I have been fortunate enough to serve Your Holiness, first and SupremePrince of all Christian lands, I may call myself the mosthappy of all Your devoted servants. So I pray rightly tovalue this opportunity of placing my work in the holy handsof Your Holiness, whose most sacred feet I humbly kiss.

    4 A graduated circle, with sights for taking altitudes at sea, isillustrated in our fig. 20 . I t is now superseded by the quadrantand sextant. As the confusion in the description of the instrumentand its employment makes it difficult to comprehend its use,it is omitted.