Another large audience last evening listened to the fourth of Mr. Blashfield's lectures at the Jefferson Physical Laboratory. His subject was the "Decorative Painting of the Renaissance, and its bearing upon modern decoration-1450-1588."
He said that at Venice especially there was a great change in art during this period. This change was most noticeable in the idea of Venus. Previously Venus had been painted as unnatural and without color, while now freshness and beauty characterized pictures of her.
Venice stands by itself in the history of painting; its art was more modern than anything before. Every Venetian painter was a Midas with the touch of gold. Art became so popular there that every one took it up. They carried it so far that, besides covering the interior of the buildings, they covered the exterior with paintings.
This was the high noon of the Renaissance, for it was the time of Raphael, Michael Angelo and Correggio. The first two are of course well known to all; Correggio is not. Though all his faces are too much alike, yet everyting of his is lovely. Besides this, he was one of the half dozen sublime painters of the earth. In all his figures there is a certain puissance, which in a few years had exerted an influence over all Italian painting. The summit had been reached, however, and the decadence of art soon began.
The last of the great painters of the Renaissance were Tintoretto and Paul Veronese, whose pictures cover the walls of Venice. Veronese was the latest, and in some respects, the greatest painter in Venice. Though in his works there is no depth of religious sentiment, there is an abounding fullness of life, and everything is fresh and natural. At the death Tintoretto and Paul Veronese, Italy lost the last of the giants of the Renaissance.