excerpt from 'Italy Volume 1' pp. 82-83 (233 words)

excerpt from 'Italy Volume 1' pp. 82-83 (233 words)

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Italy Volume 1

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 In our visit to SANTA MARIA DELLA GRAZIE, we were accompanied by an eminent artist [Signore Serangeli], to whose most kind and useful attentions we stood deeply indebted; and by some other Italians well versed in the story and fortunes of the Last Supper. The fine old cloisters of the monastery join the church, and surround a spacious court. Their Gothic pillars, groined arches, and curved roof, are enriched with the fine frescoes of Bernardo Zenale, who, it is said, assisted Leonardo in the plan of the Cenacolo. But though they still exhibit tints of ultra-marine, blue and bright as the skies that shine over them, they were chipping off and falling at our feet as we passed. Here, where many a morbid enthusiast had paced in the silence of brooding meditation, or gazed on the moonlight which illumined the frescoes of Bernardo, we found only the noise and bustle of military existence. In one place an artillery waggon was wheeled against a broken shrine; in another a group of soldiers laughed and sang as they smoked their pipe, seated on a prostrate crucifix: a tattered shirt hung to dry upon the flayed back of St. Bartholomew; and a musket leaning on the shoulder of a Virgin gave her the air of a sentinel on his post. In a word, the gens-d'armerie of his Imperial Majesty of Austria were placed here in quarters.

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excerpt from 'Italy Volume 1' pp. 82-83 (233 words)


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