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AGE OF LEO X.-State of the Arts under the Goths-Revival in Italy-Cimabue Academy for Painting instituted at Florence, 1350-Michael_Angelo, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci-The different Italian Schools-Flemish School Dutch Statuary and Architecture-Art of Engraving.

IN enumerating those great features in the history of the progress of the human mind, which exhibited themselves at the end of the fifteeenth and beginning of the sixteenth centuries, we remarked the high advancement to which the fine arts attained in Europe, in the age of Leo X.

There are periods in which the human genius seems to turn strongly to one peculiar direction. In one period, the reasoning faculty seems chiefly to delight in contemplating its own powers, the nature and operations of the mind; in another, perhaps the imagination reigns predominant, and the general taste is attracted to works of fancy in poetry or romance. another era the mechanic or the useful arts engross the general attention, and are cultivated with high success; in a fourth, as in the period of which we


now treat, the popular taste, delighted with the contemplation of beautiful forms, bestows its chief attention on the fine arts of painting, sculpture, and archi


The causes which give the bent or direction to the general taste, and consequently operate in the production of artists, or men eminent in the several departments of literature, sciences, and the arts, are not easily ascertained. That a great deal is owing to the operation of moral causes, I believe is certain; but I doubt greatly if they alone are sufficient to account for this remarkable distinction, of eras favourable and unfavourable for particular arts and sciences. By moral causes, I mean such as the following: the peaceful or happy situation of a country; the genius or taste of a prince, directed to one particular department of science or of art, together with a liberal disposition to encourage those who are eminent in that department: the accidental circumstance of a few illustrious men contributing by their favour to bring artists into observation and repute,.and, by their example promoting a fashionable relish for their productions. To these we may add, what perhaps has no less influence, the aid derived by one artist from the studies of another; and the emulation that naturally takes place among all the professors of an art, where there are one or two of distinguished excellence.

These causes have unquestionably a very great influence in rendering certain periods more or less favourable than others; and we may observe in general, with regard to the fine arts, that, in order to their advancement, a state of society is required, wherein men can employ more attention on their pleasures than on their wants. The nation which enjoys peace and security, and where a great proportion of the people possess such a degree of wealth as to exempt them from laborious occupation, is the true soil for these arts to grow and flourish; and where any of the causes before-mentioned join their operation, still more

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