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ing in the sun, and decorated with fantastic ornaments, came forward to arrange their gondolas for starting.
Among them all, Titian's favorite was conspicuous. “Now for the prize, Valerio,” exclaimed he to a young gondolier, who stood lightly balancing himself on the narrow and elevated part of the boat. “Come forward, Genevra.” A dark-eyed Italian girl made her appearance, and with timid grace presented the youth the oar. Others followed her example, and every gondola seemed to contain some mother, wife, or amata, to animate the purpose of the gondoliers. "Remember," some of them exclaimed, “the victories your fathers have gained.” Genevra presented the oar in silence, and with down
Then followed the religious ceremonies; the consecrated water was lavishly dispersed, the signal given, and the boats in motion. The course was about four miles along the grand canal, which takes the form of the letter S. On each side were placed bands of music. The gondoliers stood on a slight elevation. Valerio's figure seemed to have attained new grace and beauty ; his thin shoes enabled him to cling to the almost imperceptible footing, while the accuracy
with which he poised his body, keeping only the upper part of it, with his arms in motion, gave him complete power over the boat. Nothing could exceed the elegance of his attitude, as he urged his light bark over the waves, skimming the surface of the water with the rapidity of the swallow. 66 Valerio will win the victory,” said Vasari.
Certainly he will,” exclaimed Titian, " he has all that man can have to animate him, love and beauty.”
Titian was right; Valerio was declared the victor, and returned bearing the green bough.
During this visit, the artist introduced to Vasari one of his pupils, Tintoretto, who had fine talents in music as well as in painting. Vasari could not but admit the brilliancy of his coloring ; but he considered it extravagant, and his designs out of nature : he did not at that time foresee that he and Paolo Veronese, who were cotemporary, would rank with the first painters in the world, and become the glory of Venice.
Tintoretto followed the drawings of Michelangelo, by whom he was greatly encouraged and assisted, while he adopted the beautiful coloring of his master.
The Emperor Charles V, sat three times for his picture to Titian, and said, the last time, he had “thrice been made immortal.” To reward the genius who had made him so, he created the artist a Count Palatine, and gave him a pension. Henry III, in going from Poland to France, visited Venice, expressly to see Titian.
The painter had now wealth, fame, and glory; he had lived nearly a century, been acquainted with the most celebrated men of the age, was the darling of Venice, with whose habits, customs, and people he was intimately associated. His days, in the usual course of nature, were drawing near to a close. One of his friends said to him, “ You afford the singular instance of a life of unclouded happiness.”
Titian replied with a melancholy smile, “ There is no such life here ; but the bitterest pangs I have known, have arisen from alienation of friendship, and from that rivalship and jealousy which are too common in the arts."
In 1576, the plague broke out at Venice. Titian, with his son Horace, were among the first victims. He left a painting of David unfinished; and, though he was at the age
of ninety-nine, it was as vigorous and spirited in its outline as any of its predecessors. The painter who was celebrated by Ariosto the first poet of the age, now lies low in the Church of St. María dei Frati at Venice. A marble slab covers his ashes, on which is inscribed,
“Qui giace, il gran Tiziano di Vecelli,
* Here lies the great Titian di Vecelli,
THE THREE CARACCI,
LODOVICO, ANNIBALE, AND AGOSTINO,
WITH THEIR SCHOOL.
In the low confined shop of a tailor, where lay heaped up the different stuffs that composed the garments of the fi teenth century, sat a young lad, busily engaged in what appeared to be his vocation ; yet it was evident, from his flushed cheek, the impatient and somewhat vexed air with which he occasionally threw back his head, that all did not go well : sometimes the memorable insignia of his employment, the shears, were called to his aid, and he cut and ripped without mercy; then the thimble again performed its duty, and a few stitches were taken, which were as hastily pulled out. He did not speak, though there was another present who seemed to be regarding him with curiosity.