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MONSTRANCE Monstrance. See Ostensorium.


511


MONTAGNA


Monstrelet, Enguerrand de, a French chron- icler, b. about 1390 or 1395; d. in July, 1453. He wa,s most probably a native of Mon.strelet, a village situ- ated in the present department of the Sonime. His hfe was spent at Cambrai in the service of Philip, Duke of Burgundy, who was also Count of Flanders. The cartulary of the church of Cambrai proves that in 1436 Monstrelet was lieutenant of the gavenier; as such it was his duty to collect in the Cambr^sis the tax called "gavenne", which was paid to Philip by the tenants of the churches there in retiu-n for the pro- tection which he gave them. From 20 June, 1436, to January, 1440, he was bailiff (bailli) of the chapter of Cambrai and he was provost (prevot) of Cambrai from 1444 to 1440 (not until his death, as Dacier says); he became bailiff of Walincourt on 12 March, 1445, an office which he held till his death. Monstrelet, who lived during an agitated period, did not take personal part in the conflicts of the day. To him, perhaps, applies a letter of pardon granted in 1424 to a certain Enguerrand de Monstrelet by Henry IV of England, who then ruled a part of France: Enguerrand, accord- ing to this letter, had committed certain highway robberies, believing that he had a sufficient excuse because he robbed the Armagnacs, enemies of the Duke of Burgundy. However this may be, his atti- tude in his "Chronicle" is that of an impartial nar- rator. He speaks of himself but once, when he relates in the eighty -sixth chapter of the second book that he was present at the interview which Joan of Arc, taken prisoner before Compiegne, had with Philip of Bur- gundy; and with his usual sincerity and modesty he declares that he does not remember well the words of the duke.

The "Chronicle" of Monstrelet opens with a men- tion of the coronation of Charles VI, which took place in 1380; but its true starting-point is Easter-day, 1400, when the history of Froissart finishes, and it extends down to 1444. While Froissart confined him- self almost entirely to events which took place in France, Monstrelet deals also with other countries, giving many documents. He treats not only of mili- tary history, but also gives interesting details of great religious events such as the Councils of Pisa, Con- stance, and Basle. We feel, moreover, that the rav- ages of war and the sufferings of the people therefrom cause him real pain, and he is not over-enthusiastic about great feats of arms. He is occasionally guilty of chronological errors and confusing proper names. Finally, the literary merit of the book is mediocre; the narrative is often heavy, monotonous, diffuse, and lacks the charm of Froissart. In the early edi- tions of Monstrelet — of which the first, published at Paris towards 1470 in three folio volumes, goes back almost to the invention of printing — the chronicles contain a third book, relating the events which took place between April, 1444, and the death of the Duke of Burgundy in 1467. But the "Necrologe des Cordeliers de Cambrai" and the "Memoriaux" of Jean le Robert prove that Monstrelet died in July, 1453, so that all this book could not possibly have been written by him. Furthermore, the history of years 1444-53, given in this third liook, is so bald that it contrasts singularly Vv-ith the prolixity of the first two books. It is, besides, much more partial to the House of Burgundy than the first two, and, in contrast to these, scarcely contains a single document. Whereas the first two books are preceded by a preface, the third has none; finally, the historian, Matthieu d'Escouchy, in the prologue to his own chronicle, states that Monstrelet's " Clironiclc " ends at 20 May, 1444. Modern scholars unanimously accept t he state- ment of Matthieu d'Escouchy and hold that this so- called third book was not written by Monstrelet.

Chronique d' Enguerrand de Monstrelet, ed. d'Arcq (6 vola., Paris, 1857-62); Chronique de Mallhieu d'Escouchy, ed. DnFUEBNE


T, I (Paria, 1863), 2-3; Dacier, Memoires de tit- terature tires den registres de V Academic royale des Inscriptions et Belles-lettres, XLIII (Paris, 1786), 535-62. There is an English translation of Monstrelet by Jobnes (Hafod, 1810).

George.sGoyau.

Montagna, Bartolomeo, Italian painter, chief representative of the Vicenza School, b. at Orzinuovi about 1450; d. at Vicenza, 11 October, 1523. Very little is known concerning his life. His work presents not a very original, but happy combination of the dual influence of Padua and Venice. The forms, draperies, grandeur, and often the energy of expres- sion betray the action of Montagna, but the order of his altar-pieces, their harmonious symmetry, and the beauty of their colouring recall Giovanni Bellini or Carpaccio. Perhaps, he even surpassed these two masters as regards power of tone, and resembles Cri- velli more closely. Two Madonnas in the gallery of Vicenza and a smaller one in the Lochis Gallery at Bergamo (1487) are characteristic of his early man- ner, which is not free from stiffness and a certain dry- ness. Here the artist still retains the old process of distemper. His best period was from 1490 to 1505, his years of work and travel, during which he was busily occupied throughout all the district. At Ve- rona he painted house facades in fresco, and executed the graceful paintings, unhappily much damaged, of the Chapel of St. Blaise in the Church of Sts. Nazzaro and Celso (1493), of which Salconetto was the archi- tect. There is little logic in the construction, but the details, despite the dilapidation of the whole, still pre- sent a charming effect. In the cupola there are two circles of panels with figures of angels under figures of saints between pilasters, and a frieze with a proces- sion of Nereids. The whole, supported by the Evan- gehsts painted on pendentives, is a brilliant example of the delightful inconsistency of the Renaissance. There are frescoes by Montagna in the Scuola del Santo at Padua. His best-known works are his altar- pieces, painted in oil in the manner of Bellini.

The large retable of the Brera (1499), the Madonna enthroned in a magnificent chapel with two saints on each side and three angels playing on the steps of the throne, is perhaps his masterpiece. Whether for its architecture, its dignity, the sweetness of its figures, or for the depth and power of its colouring, it is in all respects one of the most beautiful canvases produced at that period in Upper Italy. The " Piet&" of Monte Berico (1.500) is of a quite different character: it is a startling picture of grief, the figures being of a violent, almost brutal naturalness. The Academy of Venice possesses some works in his later manner; the tone grows subdued, becoming brown and slightly hard and dull. Such is the "Madonna enthroned between St. Roch and St. Jerome". But there is still a dcM'p sen- timent of mystical adoration in the "Christ hitween St. Koch and St. Seba,stian". Vicenza is especially rich in Mont ugna's works, no less than ten being found at the Academy, not to mention the frescoes of the Duomo of S. Lorenzo and some altar-pieces, such as that of Santa Corona. Nearly all are late works. Outside of Italy may be mentioned the "Ecce Homo" of the Louvre and especially the clKinniiig iiiccc, as tender and delicate as a Carpaccio, llir "Tlucr Angelic Musicians"; a large and magnific-cnt rctiihlr of l.'ilM) at the Museum of Berlin; a beautiful bust of the .Ma- donna at BrcMicn; a " Holy Family" at Strashurg .-uid som.e other less important works in England (Hutlcr, Farrer, and Sainuelson collections, and at the home of Lord Cowper at Panshanger).

Bartolomeo had a son, Benedetto, who w;is chiefly notable as an engraver. As a painter he is lit t lc> more than a feeble imitator of his father, as is proved by a Madonna at Milan and a "Trinity " in the Cathedral of Vicenza. He flourished from 1490 to 1.541.

RiDOLFl, Meraviglie delV Aria (Venice, 1648); CnowK and Cavalcaselle, Hist, of Painling in N. Italy (London. 1891);