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NOTICE HIST. ET CRIT. SUR D. ZAMPIERI.
de Saint-Silvestre à Rome, quatre sujets de l'Ancien Testament, David, Salomon, Esther et Judith, gravés dans ce Musée sous les nos 56, 80, 100 et 109.
A la mort du pape, en 1623, Zampieri perdit ses emplois et accepta d'aller à Naples pour peindre la chapelle du Trésor dans l'église de Saint-Janvier. Il avait quitté Rome en 1629, mais à peine arrivé, il fut abreuvé de tribulations, d'inquié. tudes et de chagrins, qui le forcèrent à fuir sans avoir fini. Dominiquin vint reprendre ses travaux; mais il mourut en 1641, sans avoir terminé ce grand ouvrage, que ses ennemis firent abattre, et qui fut recommencé par Lanfranc.
Plein de modestie, d'un caractère doux, ne disant de mal de personne, le mérite de Dominiquin paraît être la seule cause qui lui attira des ennemis partout où il travailla. Il fut cepen
dant honoré dès le moment de sa mort. L'Académie de SaintLuc à Rome lui fit faire un service solemnel, dans lequel Passeri prononça son oraison funèbre. Depuis, la postérité n'a cessé d'honorer sa mémoire et d'admirer ses tableaux.
Ce peintre avait coutume de travailler seul, et de tout étudier d'après nature; il réussit également bien dans l'histoire et le paysage. Ses tableaux à l'huile sont fort recherchés, quoiqu'on leur ait quelquefois reproché une touche un peu lourde; ses fresques sont beaucoup plus estimées.
On remarque dans les compositions de Zampieri une ordonnance pleine de noblesse, un dessin correct, une couleur vigoureuse et vraie; mais ce qui le rend encore plus admirable, c'est l'expression qu'il sut donner à toutes ses figures. Poussin disait que depuis Raphaël aucun artiste n'avait mieux entendu la peinture, que ses sujets étaient bien pensés, bien raisonnés, et qu'il ne manquait en rien aux convenances.
Ses compositions passent le nombre de 140; elles ont été gravées par Gérard Audran, Fr. Poilly, Van den Audenaerde, Dorigny, Frey, Cunégo, etc.
HISTORICAL AND CRITICAL
Among the disciples of the illustrious School of Bologna, three painters were remarked for their talent and the friendship that united them during a long time. Guido Reni, Francesco Albani, and Domenico Zampieri, were all three born at Bologna, at three years' interval from each other, and all three subsequently entered the School of the Caracci. Notwithstanding this continued uniformity of principles, they each had a different manner, and, it would, perhaps, be difficult to say which deserves the preference.
Domenico Zampieri, the youngest of them, was born in 1581: he was intended for the study of Belles Lettres, whilst his brother Gabriel was to be a painter: but young Domenichino drew in secret. His father soon perceiving the extraordinary inclination of his son, for painting, determined to place him with the painter Flammand Calvaert, with whom he remained but a short time. His master having caught him copy. ing one of Carraci's designs, his pride was so much hurt at it, that, borne away by passion, he gave his pupil a severe blow. This unbecoming scene determined Domenichino to immediately leave his master, and to place himself under the guidance of Caracci, taking with him his two friends, Guido and Albani. Zampieri was remarkable for his assiduity in studying : he
HISTORICAL AND CRITICAL NOTICE
always worked apart, and carried the prize in a competition, wherein his former comrades looked upon-him as by no means to be feared. Yet he wrought with difficulty, produced slowly, and took up his pencil but after having meditated for a long time. His fellow students, jesting him on his slowness, used to call him The painting Ox, but Annibale Caracci, who foresaw all his merit, defended him openly, saying: This Ox will so fertilize his field, that it will one day be food to painting.
Albani having left Bologna to go to Rome, Domenico Zampieri did not long delay joining him in that city, where he was at first employed by Annibale Caracci, who was then occupied in painting the Farnese Gallery. It is to Domenichino that is due, in that gallery, the emblem of the Farnese Family, a nymph caressing a unicorn. This essay was soon noticed; but the young artist, ever slow in conceiving, was nearly the victim of an apparent incapacity, for, notwithstanding the interest the prelate Agucchi felt for him, he could not obtain for him the powerful protection of his uncle, Cardinal Agucchi, who considered Domenichino as a painter without any capacity, or skill. Nevertherless, the Prelate commissioned his friend to paint a picture of St. Peter delivered from prison, and on the festival, had it exhibited in the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli: every body admired, and attributed it to Annibale Caracci.Cardinal Agucchi having also praised it highly, his nephew, then informed him, that it was the production of his young protégé. Cardinal Edward Farnese equally pleased with what he had ordered Domenichino to paint, in a series of six pictures, the history of St. Nileus, to ornament the Abbey of Grotta Ferrata, which he had just had rebuilt. Zampieri was then 29 years old, Annibale Caracci was lately dead, leaving a part of his property to his pupil, who was commissioned to execute several great works. At Frescati he did ten pictures from the story of Apollo: and under the pontificate of Paul V, he was or
OF DOMENICO ZAMPIERI.
dered to paint for the Church of San Girolamo della Carità, the picture of St. Jerome, truly a masterpiece, for which he received only about 250 fr. (L. 10). This work was considered by Poussin as worthy to be put in parallel with the Transfiguration by Raphael, and it excited the jealousy of several of the contemporary painters. Lanfranco, the most exasperated of them, i insinuated that Zampieri had, in his St. Jerome, copied the same subject treated by Agostino Caracci for the Carthusian Monastery at Bologna : but though it should be true, that some reminiscences may have guided Domenichino's conception, still it must be acknowledged that he had no need to borrow from others, his genius sufficing him. Proofs of this were soon seen in the various pictures that he produced; such as the Scourging of St. Andrew, which he did for the Church of San Gregorio. Finding himself then competing with Guido Reni, who treated that identical subject in the same monument, he had the glory of bearing the palm over a fellow student, older than himself by six years. The Martyrdom of St. Agnes, and the Virgin of the Rosary, must be mentioned as highly remarkable; as also the Story of St. Cecilia, which; he painted in the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi, at Rome.
Zampieri afterwards returned to Bologna, where he married a woman distinguished for her beauty, and who often served him as a model, but whose haughty and interested disposition, subsequently occasioned him many vexations, particularly during his abode in Naples. Cardinal Ludovisi, being now Pope, under the name of Gregory XV, recalled Domenichino to Rome and entrusted to him the direction of the works of the Vatican. About the same time, this artist was commissioned by the Marquis Giustiniani to paint, at Bassano, the Story of Diana, the famous Frescos of San Carlo A' Catenari, wherein he represented the four Cardinal Virtues, and finally in the Capella Bandini of the Church of San Silvestro at Rome,
HIST. AND CRIT. NOTICE of ZAMPIERI.
four subjects from the Old Testament, David, Solomon, Esther, and Judith, given in this Museum, Nos 56, 80, 100, and 109.
At the Pope's death, in 1623, Zampieri lost his employ, and accepted to go to Naples to paint the Capella del Tresoro in the Church of San Gennaro. He had left Rome in 1629, but was scarcely arrived, than he was overwhelmed with troubles, disquietudes, and cares, that forced him to depart, ere he had terminated. Domenichino returned to resume his labours, but he died in 1641, without having finished this great undertaking, which was demolished by his enemies, and recommenced hy Lanfranco.
Unassuming, of a mild disposition, speaking ill of no one, his merit seems to have been the sole cause that created him enemies wherever he went. He was however respected from the moment of his death: the Academy of St. Luke at Rome ordered him a grand service, in which Passeri delivered a Funeral Oration. Posterity has constantly since honoured his memory, and admired his works.
This artist used to work alone, and to study every thing from Nature: he succeeded equally in History and in Landscape Painting. His paintings in oil are much sought after, although his handling is sometimes considered as rather heavy : his Frescos are still more esteemed.
Zampieri's pictures are distinguished for their grand composition, correct designing, their vigorous and faithful colouring; but what renders them still more admirable, is the expression he gives to all his figures. Poussin used to say, that, since Raphael, no artist had better, understood painting, that his subjects were well conceived, well matured, and that he no where failed in keeping.
There are more than 140 of his compositions: they have been engraved by Gerard Audran, Fr. Poilly, Van den Audenaerde, Frey, Cunégo.