“You all know,” he continued, “that Perugino, who lived here and received his art name because he did so, had an academy of painting, and that Raphael was for some years one of his pupils. Perugino’s influence on his pupils is strikingly apparent in their work. Raphael’s early painting is exactly after his style. In Perugino’s treatment of figures you will find a mannerism, especially in the way his heads are placed on the shoulders, and in his faces, which are full of sentiment, the wistful eyes often being cast upward, but sometimes veiled with heavily drooping lids.
“Look! here is one of his pictures. The oval faces with the peculiarly small mouth are characteristic. You will most readily recognize the work of this master after you have become a bit familiar with it.”
He also took them to the Cambio, once a Chamber of Commerce, to see Perugino’s frescoes, which he told them are more important in the world of art than are his easel pictures. Here they seated themselves against the wall wainscoted with rare wooden sculptures, on the same bench on which all lovers of the old painter’s art who have visited Perugia through four centuries have sat.
[Illustration: PERUGINO. UFFIZI GALLERY FLORENCE.
HEAD OF MADONNA. FROM MADONNA AND SAINTS.]
And here they studied long the figures of those old Roman heroes chosen by Perugino to symbolize the virtues; figures which possess a unique and irresistible charm because of their athletic proportions and vigorous action, while their faces are sweet, womanish, and tender, full of the pensive, mystic devotion which is so characteristic of this old master and his pupils.
Robert Sumner Fights a Battle.
So nigh is grandeur to our dust, So near is God to man, When duty whispers low, Thou must, The youth replies, I can.
[Illustration: SAN FRANCESCO, ASSISI.]
Barbara and Bettina had not realized how near they were to Assisi until talk of driving thither began. In their study of art St. Francis had figured quite largely, because the scenes in his life were such favorite ones for representation by the old masters. They had read all about him, and so were thoroughly prepared for the proposed trip to the home of this most important old saint.
Bettina was in a fever of excitement. Drive to Assisi! Drive to the home of St. Francis! Go through the streets in which he played when a little boy; walked and rode when a prodigal young man, clad in the richest, most extravagant attire he could procure; from which he went out in his martial array; out of which he was taken prisoner when Perugia conquered Assisi! Drive, perhaps, along that very street in which, after his conversion, he met the beggar with whom he changed clothes, giving him the rich garments, and himself putting on the tatters!