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the sacred images. In the mean time, the arms of Charlemagne were victorious in Italy; he conquered Pavia, and made at once an end of the Longobardic monarchy, which had lasted more than 206 years. The revolution of the Saxons, who were converted to Christianity, but had soon returned to their old national faith, and set on fire churches and cloisters, did not prevent the session of a synod at Frankfort, (794) under the presidency of Charlemagne himself.t It proved entirely fatal to the sacred images, because Charles declared himself decidedly against their worship.I
In the East, Irene was dethroned, and Nicephorus I. was elected (801) who renewed the persecution of images. $ In the year 811, Michael Europalates mounted the throne, and although he lived in peace with Charlemagne, he still reintroduced the worship of images.ll But in the year 813, the breakers of the images excited such a rebellion at Constantinople, that Leo V. the Armenian, who was then emperor, was compelled to publish an edict against images, and ordered all the images which had been made to be destroyed. His successor Michael II. gave permission to worship the sacred images without Constantinople, and silenced the contests concerning them, by prohibiting his subjects (821) from disturbing the adherents of the worship of images.** But he did not stop here; (824) he wrote to King Louis of France, that he considered the worship of images unlawful, and some years afterwards, he even proclaimed a law against it. He was followed in the kingdom by Theophilus, who was not content with having all the images in the churches, which had escaped from the preceding persecutions, either by carelessness or some other reason, blotted out, and repainted, and in their place birds, flowers and other ornaments in the Arabian style, but issued even an edict against the worshippers of images, and persecuted the artists, and manifested a particular hatred towards a certain monk Lazarus, a painter. Theophilus was the iconoclastic emperor. A new party against the images arose again under the reign of Bardas, but a synod which was held at Constantinople, (861) declared that the
"S Binii Concil. gener, t. iii. p. 295. The accounts of the history of images from the time of Irene to that of Theodora, are collected on the part of the Catholics by Baronius and Pagi under the years 780–840; by Panoplia, adversus Haereticos; by Natalis Alexander, Hist. N. T. Saec. viii, and finally by Dupin Bibliot. Eccles. t. vi. On the part of the Protestants, by Basnage, t. i.; and by Mosheim Instit. Hist. Eccles. Saec. viii. and ix. The most preferable of the former is Dupin, and of the latter Mosheim-the one because he is free from superstitious prejudices, and the other from the bitter violence which many historical writers of his party were unable to restrain. + Imp. decr. p 67. Ibid. Carol. Magni Capitulare de non adorandis imaginibus.
$ Ibid. p. 599. Ibid. p. 601. Ibid. **Ibid.
images may be hung out and exhibited, but not worshipped. The prohibition of their worship was renewed (866) under the reign of Michael III. Afterwards, the worship of images became again customary, and was introduced from Greece to Russia and other countries. The images of the saints increased in the same degree as did, of old, the gods of paganism.Every military commander, every legion, every company, carried with them the image of their saints in a small chapel drawn on two wheels.* From this short history of the destruction of the images, we can easily infer the miserable condition of both painting and sculpture in the East, until the middle of the thirteenth century, when the emperors were confined to the possession of Constantinople.
In consequence of the ambassadors sent (824) to king Louis of France, by the emperor Michael Balbus, to consult him about the worsbip of images, we find in the accounts of the council held at Paris, in the same year, circumstantial debates on painting and Mosaics. It would carry us too far to record here the numerous passages concerning the works of art from that period, which we find scattered about in many authors. He who wishes to be more minutely instructed on that subject, we refer to Aringbio,+ Baldetti, I Maffei, § Fortunato Liveto,|| Bartoli, 1 and Gori.**
Among the popes of that period who employed artists, may be noticed : Leo III. who mounted (795) the papal chair,tt and who had an exceedingly large nuinber of windows painted; Stephen V. also called IV. who adorned many churches; Paschalis I. who had works of Mosaic worked in the basilica of St. Peter's, and in other churches; Eugenius II. who enriched Sa. Sabina church with paintings and Mosaics ;fGregory IV. under whose reign were made for St. Peter's and some other churches, Mosaics with gilded grounds ; Sergius II. who presented the church, Sa. Maria Maggiore, with gilded tables of silver, upon which the Virgin was painted on enamel; Leo IV. Benedict III. Nicolaus J. Adrian II. and Formosus, all of whom did something for painting, by having the paintings in St. Peter's church renewed.
To the odd works of that century, touching religious images, belongs the treatise of bishop Ionas, of Orleans, in which
of St. Peterbo bad works of ho, adorned "ndows
* Mailly, Esprit des Croisades, t. i. + Roma sotterranea. Osservaz. sopra i cimiteri dei Martiri
Museo Veronese. || De lucernis antiquis.
[ Sepolcri Antici. ** De dypt. t. iii. and the Appendix. tt Muratori scr. Ital. v. ii. p. 1.
#1 Ciambini t. i.
he refutes Claudius, bishop of Turin.* Many bishops were as active in favour of the arts as the above Popes. Paulus, bishop of Naples, adorned with paintings, towards the end of the eighteenth century, a tower which stood before the church, dedicated in that town to St. Peter ;t and Athanasius one of his successors in the ninth century, embellished in the same way many churches. In the chronicle of the monastery at Farpa, are mentioned three monks, about the end of the tenth century, who, in common with their abbot, accomplished the rebuilding of a church, and adorned it within and without with paintings. The same was done in the ninth century by the monks of Monte Casino with regard to their church. Also the guilds or crafts often gave employment to the artists. When Charlemagne granted at his return from the coronation, in the year 808, to the shoemakers at Ferrara, various privileges, they, in their turn, in manifestation of their gratitude, had painted around their chapel of St. Crispin, the famous cavalcade (cavalcata) of the emperor. ||
We ought not entirely to lose sight of the situation of the arts in the Eastern countries, because their example had much influence upon Constantinople and thence upon the other parts of Europe. A pure and noble taste was never the boast of the Asiatic nations : but the enormous wealth which the Mussulmen had acquired by their conquests, especially among the Abbassides, advanced luxury in their residence, Bagdad, to the most extravagant pitch. They did not care at all about beauty and perfection in works of art, but solely about the richness of the material. Gold, silver, pearls and precious stones were the materials of which the artist dared to make use. This extravagant Asiatic taste affected even the court of Constantinople, and was quite the reverse of the ancient Roman taste, which shone with simple grandeur amidst the excesses of luxury, and created works which, even now, mock the ruin of time. It would be an easy task to show, by many instances, the childish turn which the invention of the Oriental artist had taken, as well as the efforts in the Greek empire to imitate this tasteless splendour, if we did not fear to be turned by it from our chief purpose ; but we will furnish our readers with one instance, sufficiently remarkable, to enable them to form their judgment. Ebn
* Ionæ Aurelianensis Episcopi. I. iii. de cultu imaginum.
Episc. Neapol. in the scr. rer. Ital. v. i. 2. 6 Scrip. rer. Ital. v. ii. p. 1. || Baruffaldi. Istor di Ferrara, &c
Schonahn, an Arabian historian, informs us that in the year 304 of the Hegira, (aft. Chr. 916) there arrived at the court of Moctader, at Bagdad, ambassadors from the emperor at Constantinople. They were received with great pomp. Among other things, there was in a saloon, a tree of massive gold, which had eighteen chief branches. About this tree hovered, in great numbers, birds of many kinds, all of them composed of gold and silver, and singing most melodiously ; it was an appearance which excited great astonishment in the ambassadors. Soiauthi relates the same story, with some insignificant modifications. Thirty years afterwards, they endeavoured at Constantinople, to excite corresponding astonishment in an ambassador from the West, in a similar way. It was Luitprand, bishop at Creinona, who was sent, in 946, by the emperor Berengar with some commission to Constantine Porphyrogenitus and who described with naïve simplicity, all that he had seen.* " A tree of brass, but gilded, (said he) stood before the eyes of 'thc emperor ; ils branches were filled with all kind of birds, also composed of brass, and gilded, which sang with the voices, peculiar to their respective species. Arranged with especial 'art was the throne, which stood at one moment low, at 'another a little higher, and at length in its full height; the seat
upon it was of an enormous size, guarded by gilded lions, • which I do not know whether they were composed of brass or 'wood. Upon this seat reposed the emperor, leaning upon the
shoulders of two eunuchs, when I was lead before him. The lions roared at my entrance, and the birds sang in their way ; yet, I was neither afraid nor astonished, because I had been informed of all this beforehand.”
Many authors are of opinion, that the crusades were not a trifling advantage to the arts in the West. This opinion is chiefly founded upon the prejudice, that the arts were at that period so entirely extinct in Italy, that their rudiments could only have been reacquired in the East, where the splendour of the court was not entirely extinct. But we by no means agree in this opinion. All the European countries which took part in the crusades, lost not only a great part of their population, but also enormous sums in money. The great were obliged either to mortgage or sell their properties, lands, castles, &c., to the bishopricks, abbeys and monasteries, in order to be able to support the troops which they engaged to conquer
* Murat. scrip. rer. Ital. t. ii. p. 1. In the year 968, Otho, the Great, sent also the same Luitprand as an ambassador to Nicephorus Phocas. ibid.
the Holy Land. It is beyond all doubt, that the arts must have suffered much by the diminution of the general wealth which is necessary to their success; and even when some crowds of the crusaders under the command of one or the other hero, were fortunate enough to gain a rich booty from the Saracens, it had, after all, but little influence on the arts; for, in the first place, these treasures consisted chiefly of gold, silver, pearls and precious stones, which were, without any regard to their artificial form, divided among the warriors, who again sold them far below their real value; secondly, because all the masterly works of art, as sacred vessels, chandeliers, &c. remained in the East, being, for the most part, the same which the Saracens had on some previous occasions plundered from Christian churches. At the taking of Jerusalem, 1099, Tancred had the good fortune to attack, with bis troops, the Mosque of Omar, and to conquer it. It was filied with precious things, a large number of gold and silver candlesticks
Lopar an mbuco ou and is onlandia pole and lamps, and many statues of the same metals, which bad formerly belonged as ornaments to Christian churches. For this reason, the clerical crusaders claimed these treasures, and considered them as goods which were to belong to some new church to be built there. Tancred was generous enough to deliver the greater part of his booty to the commander Godfrey, to apply it at his pleasure. Thus, the few works of art which came to Europe were certainly composed in the East, and by Christians, for the service of their religion ; and must, consequently, be dated from the time when the taste in the arts had much degenerated. We shall certainly not forget, that many a Genoese, Pisan, and Venetian vessel brought at her return from the East, pieces composed of porphyry, verdeantico, or Oriental alabaster; now and then also a pillar, a statue, a sacred image and a relic-box; but, after all, were these trifles able to effect any thing for the revival of the arts? It is true, that the wealth which many Italian cities acquired by their favourable commercial situations, and increased on the occasion of the crusades, may have awakened in the citizens the desire of building large houses and other public monuments of their wealth; it is also true, that the bishops, abbots and monks had found, besides their previous wealth, means to enrich themselves considerably during the crusades, by the fees which were sold or mortgaged to them, and by true or 'forged donations from persons who died in the East; nevertheless, the progress, if any, which the arts made during this period, is not to be attributed to the crusades, but to the industry of