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execution of classic polyphony for mixed voices. The several attempts made in these latter years to incorporate in the School work boy singers, collected in the streets or educated by others, have given bad results, and we have lost time and money over them,
(e) We should greatly wish that in a public church of Rome, every Sunday a special choral section, composed of the children of the projected College, of the pupils and other willing youths might celebrate a Solemn High Mass or musical service with execution of all the proper Gregorian melodies, with a varied repertoire of classic vocal polyphony. Our pupils would thus be kept in continuous practical exercise and could exhibit to the public liturgical performances truly worthy of the House of God.
(f) To the courses already instituted for adults, we should like to add a special class of pianoforte and singing for children of good families. The many requests we have already received make us sure this School would be quite a success.
(g) Pius X wished that the School might promote the restoration of sacred music, not only by means of teaching and of good performance, but also through the Press. Complying with this desire, since the beginning we have had at our disposal, as the School Bulletin, the periodical La Rassegna Gregoriana : but when the war broke out the editor was obliged to suspend its publication. It would be necessary now for the School to found a review of its own, independent of any particular editor, and to circulate it largely.
We had also begun a periodical publication of good sacred compositions for small choirs, with the title of Sursum Corda; but after three numbers, the price of printing became impossible owing to war conditions, so that we were compelled to discontinue it.
Lastly, we ardently wish to undertake another publication of great importance and high artistic significance. We would bring to light a series of classic compositions of our great maestri of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries which lie still unknown in our rich musical archives of Rome and of Italy. But such an enterprise, though it would bring great honour to the School and much glory to the art of sacred music, cannot be started without special funds to meet the expenses of printing and of collaboration.
7. This external development, which, as we have said, has been for a long time our most ardent desire, could be easily effected, had we the necessary means.
We have done everything that has been in our power to provide them in these nine years, that is, ever since the School was started. But besides the heavy difficulties of the initial steps, we were stopped by the breaking out of the war, just when the School, declared Pontifical, was gaining ever greater sympathy. In consequence, up to date we have been able to collect only a part of what is absolutely needed, not, indeed, to give to the School its full development, but to maintain it in its actual restricted conditions.
But we trust always in Divine Providence to provide means to promote the desire expressed by Pius X and with such fatherly benevolence repeated by Benedict XV. The Pontifical School is the property of the Holy See ; the funds of the institution are deposited in the Vatican and are administered by the Holy See. From this point of view we desire that the School may not be a charge on the Holy See, but a gift from the Catholics of the world, in their desire to promote the perfect realization of an institution entirely directed to the glory of God, to the greater splendour of liturgical worship, to the true progress of the art of sacred music and to the honour of the Roman Pontificate.
ANGELO DE SANTI, S.J., President of the Pontifical Institute.
THE GENIUS OF LEONARDO DA VINCI
By Rev. P. A. BEECHER, M.A., D.D.
In the July number of the I. E. RECORD I said I would, at a future date, treat of Leonardo as a scientist and manysided genius; and I must here make good that promise. Before doing so, however, I should like to make a few remarks on the golden period of Italian painting. Unlike presentday artists, who excel in one particular department--and all honour to them for it—the giants of the Renaissance had caught the very spirit of art, with the result that many of them would be famous had they never touched a brush.
Every schoolboy'knows that Michael Angelo was not only a painter but also an architect and sculptor; but it is not, perhaps, so universally known that the same was true of Raphael and others. Raphael's suggested planè for St. Peter's is still extant, and shows genius, especially in the noble series of side-chapels; and, in fact, it was while superintending excavations that he caught the fever from which he died. And even as painters, their individuality was so marked that a comparison is almost impossible. Michael Angelo, with his sublimity and strength, and, above all, his extraordinary use of the unveiled human form to express his ideas, even the joys and sorrows of the Last Judgment; Raphael, with the serene calm, and divine elevation of his Madonna art; Da Vinci, with that marvellous subtlety of expression which, while the ‘Last Supper' is his greatest creation, reaches its climax in the seeming-changing, iridescent smile of the Mona Lisa ; Titian, greatest of realistic coloristsbecause Giorgione : died young; Correggio, the Shelley of painting, skyey colorist, lover of shimmering lights
1 This was set aside by Michael Angelo, who returned to Bramante's plan of a Greek cross. The latter, however, was ruined by Carlo Maderna, who changed it to a Latin cross and erected the poor façado which largely cuts off the wonderful dome.
2 They were fellow-pupils of Bellini, during which time Titian disp'ayed talent and Giorgione genius. Tintoretto was a pupil of Titian’s, and became, according to some, the equal of his master.
and diaphonous shadows, he who must have dipped his canvases in the glow of an Italian sunset; nor must we forget " · The Tailor's Andrew' (Andrea del Sarto), so unerring as draughtsman that he was named the Faultless Painter, the sorry little scrub who'-said Angelo one day to Raphael — were he set to plan as you are, pricked on by your popes and kings, would bring the sweat into that brow of yours '—what a phalanx of giants, and what a difference of individuality! Technical blemishes, no doubt, there are, in one or two of them, when judged by modern, rigid, rule of thumb; any artist who has got the ribbon of this or that academy stuck in his coat can descant on them, just as an Intermediate boy who has studied his manual of rhetoric can point out the mixed metaphor in Hamlet's famous soliloquy. But they, like Shakespeare, can stand it all, their blemishes, mere sun-spots, being swallowed up in the general blaze of excellence. It was truly an age of wonders; but, for versatility of genius and unique, supposedly impossible, combination of art and science, there stands, peerless and alone, the rare figure of Leonardo da Vinci.
In the following pages I will try to put before the reader the many gifts of this extraordinary man, trusting to the persuasiveness of facts that will speak for themselves. And it might be well at the outset to remove the false impression that many may have got from reading Walter Pater's essay on Da Vinci. Pater did not, and could not, know much about him as a scientist, for he wrote in 1873, whereas it was only ten years later that Leonardo became known as a universal genius, when Richter gave to the world two quarto volumes, containing more than 1,500 extracts from his manuscripts, which clearly proved that all Vasari said about him was more than justified. Da Vinci, partly to let his mind unbend, and partly through his passion for all that was weird and grotesque, used to associate with all kinds of charlatans, alchemists, and astrologers, with the result that even his serious work came under suspicion, especially as he kept it hidden, and it was regarded by some as a conglomeration of whims and strange fancies. Pater, in treating of him as a scientist, largely adheres to that view, and says of him : ‘He trifles with his genius, and crowds all his chief work into a few tormented years of later life.'' As to the latter portion of that sentence, not only the contradictory, but the very contrary, is true. In later life, with the single exception of engineering work, he did very little, as he was devoured by a passion for speculative knowledge for its own sakererum cognoscere causas.
1 The Renaissance.
In fact we might picture him as a lone, weary man, with wistful longing in his eye, beating with bare hands, ambitiously and in vain, on the door of the temple where nature had locked her laws. As to the former portion, it would be nearer the truth to say that he was the victim of the very versatility of his genius. Better for himself, and better for the world, that he had only a third, or fifth, of his extraordinary gifts, for then science, in many of its branches, would have been advanced by a hundred or more years. But so varied were his gifts that he never, at a time, spent more than a few weeks at any subject. But even so, with such desultory and spasmodic work, he was a pioneer in almost every discovery, and every invention, that has since astonished the world.
But, it may be asked, how comes it that his writings, which contain all those wonders, remained unknown ? For many reasons : there was no patent law at the time, nor any journals in which to announce inventions and discoveries ; and Leonardo, fearing that others would claim credit for them, as also for his love of the mysterious in possessing knowledge unknown to others, hid them away in obscure manuscripts, written, with his left hand, from right to left, in strange, cramped, inverted characters, that could be read only by means of a mirror. His reputation as an artist was established and only his Treatise on Painting was consulted. But when at last, in 1883, Richter put before an astonished world the aforesaid extracts, they had only a platonic interest, as the knowledge therein contained had in the meantime come to light. It is said that truth sometimes makes a laggard of fiction, and here is a case in point; for what novelist, in wildest fancy, would ever dream of endowing a hero with a third of the gifts that Leonardo possessed ? Juvenal ridicules the pretensions of a Greek adventurer in the following lines :
Grammaticus, rhetor, geometres, pictor, aliptes,
1 The Renaissance, p. 102,
2 Juvenal, III. 76, 77.