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MESSINA


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MESSINA


longer extant, for tlio cluirch of San Cassiano. By making known the secret of the Van Eycks, Antonello quickly won success; for the introduction of the new technic, singularly adapted to bring out brilliant colour effects and at the same time ensiuT their permanency, suited admirably the t,astos of th(> \'ene- tians "already so richly endowed wit li a feeling for the charm of colour", and "was destined to make Venice the most renowned school in Italy for the study of colouring" (Le Cicerone, II, 610). The new style was eagerly followed by Bartholomew and Louis Vivarini, John and Gentile Bellini, Carpaccio and Cima. Assailed by homesickness, Antonello returned to Messina to leave it no more until his death (cf. Lionello Venturi, loc. cit. infra).

Messina rivals the Flemings in transparency of colouring, though occasionally he may justly lie cen- sured for the u^e of "ad.ark brown in his flrsh-tints" (?iliintz, II, 778). If he imitates their careful execu- tion of details, he surpasses them by the distinction and nobility of his figures, a trait in which one recog- nizes the Italian. He excels only as a portrait painter, and especially in his portraiture of men. Of his work in this tlepartinent he has left us some masterpieces that evince in a striking degree truth to nature and strength of conception and execution: in the Academy of Venice, a half-length portrait of a man; in the Mu- seum of Berlin, a head of a young man ; in the house of the Manjuis Trivulci at Milan, the head of a man in the prime of life; in the Civic Museum of Milan, an excellent bast-painting of a poet with flowing hair crowned by a wreath; above all the painting entitled "Condottiere" preserved in the Louvre. Not so staccessful in religiou.s paintings, at Venice, he repro- duced without conviction and almost slavishly Madon- nas of the type of G. Bellini. In the National Gallery there is a half-length portrait of the year HdS repre- senting Christ with His hand raised in blessing. In conclusion let us call special attention to the large studies, entitled "St. Sebastian", "St. Jerome in his Study", "The Crucifixion". "St. Sebastian", in the Museum of Dresden, represents a beautiful young man, almost life-size, naked, of striking figure, and standing out against a background of a landscape brilliantly illuminated. In accordance with the Ve- netian or Paduan taste the painter has added a cer- tain numljer of secondary motives, the better to set otT the leading theme. This stuily in the nude is doubly shocking, since it is out of place in a devotional

Eicture, and is nothing but a pretext for displaying is knowledge of anatomy. "St. Jerome", also pre- served in the National Gallery, is a carefully executed picture, pleasing to the eye; the .studio is vaulted, the window, set high up in the wall and lighting up the studio, has all the charm of a chapel window. On the side may be seen the outlines of a pleasant cloister; mother opening discloses a vista of a distant land- scape. The learned Doctor, seated in a wooden arm- chair on a platform slightly elevated, is absorbetl in the reading of a book lying open on a desk before him; iu the foregrounil, a beautiful peacock and a little bird. In "The Crucifixion" of the Maseum of Ant- werp, we are struck by certain realistic touches which Antonello learned from the Flemish school. Skulls are scattered along the ground; the two thieves, fastened not to crosses but to trees, are writhing in pain. The Italian Ls discernible in the nobility with which Messina invests the figures of Christ, the Blessed Virgin, and St. John, .'\ntonello has been praised for "a feeling, sometimes quite correct, for large. trongly lighted landscapes", and the "Crucifixion" witnes.ses to the truth of this criticism, for the landscape which forms the setting of this pathetic scene on Calvary, in spite of the multiplicity of details, preserves a harmonious unity.

Vasari. Le Vite de* -pin eccellenti pittorit ed. Mii,ankj*i, II (Florence, 1878), 56.3-8!*; Eastlakk, Malcriala for a History of


Oil-paintinq (Paris. 1847); Blanc, Ui.ilmrfl dcs printrea rfr ioutet le.i icoles (Paris, 1865-77); (Juowk anii Cavalcaski.lk, History of Painting in North Italii, II, ii (London, 1.H71). 77-100; LiBKE, Gesch. der italienischen Maltrei, 1 (Stuttgart., 1878)i 558 aq.; Laprnkstre, La Pcinturc itntirtine jusniiii In fin f/u X\' sHrlr (Pari'). 1885). -JSX-SI; M, Vrz, llisloire d,- fart piml.iiU I,} h-,n,ii.<^,in,;\ II (Pari-, |S'l| I. 77/ 7'l; Iti ihkiiahdt AN-i. Hol.r;, L, (■„•,,■„;,,. U. r A rl «,,.,/,,■„,•, I'l.-nrh tr (iivimii) (I'ari-i. IS'.W), (;ill; i.'Amic.i. A,il„n,ll„ ,/l „/„„,„. U sue oven t rinmnzioiir diUa pilluni al olio (ML-.ssiria, 1!)U61: VKNTfHI, An- lonitlo dii ,U.K.'./n.i iu Thieme and Ukckkh, A llgcmeines Lexi- kon der bihlrnil-n Kunstler von der Aniike bis zur Gtgenwart (Leipzig, l'J07), 507 aq.

Gaston Sortais. Messina, .\ncHDiocBSE op (Me,ssinensis), in Sicily. The city is situated, in the shape of an amphitheatre, along the slope of the Hills of Neptune, on an inlet of the sea at the Strait of Messina, which separates Sicily from the peninsula. Its harbour, with its size and fine situation, is one of the most important in Italy aft i-r those oft icnoaand of Naples. Nevertheless, the hopes ciitiTtained for its commerce, in view of the opening of the Suez Canal, were disappointed, for, be- tween 1SS7 and 1894, the conunerce of Messina de- creased from 940,000 tons to 3.50,000 tons; still, in 1908, it grewagain to .5.51 ,000 tons. The neighbouring seas are rich in coral, molluscs, and fish; and from the mountains are obtained calcic sulphate, alabaster, sulphates of argentiferous lead, antimony, iron, and copper. Messina is said to have been founded by some pirates from Cuma;, a very ancient Greek colony, and to have received from its founders the name of Zancle (sickle) on account of the semicircular shape of the port. In 7.35 a colony of Messenians was taken there by Gorgos, a son of King Aristomenes, the brave but unfortunate defender of the Messenians against the Spartans. Thereafter, the population of the city was increased by fugitives from Chalcis, Samos, and Eubcea, who had escaped from the Persian invasion; they became preponilerant in the town and made it join the Ionian League. In 49.3 B. c. Anaxilas, tyrant of Rhegium, also a Messenian colony, drove the Samians from Zaiiele, took the town, and called it Mes- sana (the a of the Doric dialect, which becomes rj in the Ionic, coming later to be pronounced as Eng- lish e). In 426 the city was retaken by the lonians under the Athenian Laches, who, however, lost it in 41.5; an attempt of another Athenian, Nicias, to re- cover it failed. In consequence of the rivalry of the Athenians and the Carthagini:uis for the possession of Sicily, Messina was (lillagi'il and destroyed by the Car- tlmginians in 396, but \v:is reliuilt by Dionysius. In 312 the town was taken by Agathocles, and at his death the Campanian mercenaries of his army, called Mamertines, took possession of the city, and estab- lished there a military republic; having been defeated by Hiero II near Myke (.Milazzo) in 269, and then be- sieged in the town itself, a part of them sought the as- sistance of the Carthaginians, and a part that of the Romans. The Carthaginians under Hanno were the first to arrive, but in 264 the consul, Appius Claudius Caudex, took the city, repelling Carthaginians and Syracusans. This brought about the Punie Wars. Other events of the pre-Christian history of Messina are the victory of Piso over the slaves in 133; and the naval victory of Agrippa over Pompey in 36. In the Gothic wars Messina had a considerable part; while, in A. D. 831, it fell into the hands of the Arabs. In the Norman conquest of Sicily, Messina was naturally the basis of operations. In 1038 the Byzantine general, George Maniakes, assisted by the Normans, captured the town, but it was lost again, on the recall of that general. In 1060 Count Roger made his first expedi- tion, and in the following year was master of Messina, which from that time followed the fortunes of the Kingdom of Naples. There was a serious revolt against Frederick II in 1232; and in 1282 Messina also had its "Vespers", and on that account was besieged by King Charles II, who was, however, compelled to retreat, and left Sicily to the King of Aragon. In .