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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2.djvu/395

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BASSE


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BASSEIN


cance: Orphexis is Christ, drawing the creatures of the wild by the sweet strains of Jus music; Uiygseg attached to the mast is believed to typify the Cruci- fixion (O. Marucchi). Occasionally a carnng on a Catacomb tombstone shows real merit, and the lamps adorned with Christian symbols are frequently artistic. As they depart from the classic tradition, however, Christian reliefs grow ruder and more im- perfect. Those of the latter part of the second and the third century have little merit. The fourth century, in spite of the decline, bequeathes some specimens, now in the Lateran Museum; the sar- cophagus of Junius Bassus in the vaults of St. Peter's is highly esteemed as a work of art. When the Christian basiUca replaced the cubiculum the influ- ence of imperial Constantinople had substituted mosaics for both sculpture and painting. The few reliefs of that period that have sur\'ived laear a strongly Byzantine character, which is also apparent in all early Frankish workmanship, rehefs, ivory diptychs. etc. The reliefs of Ravenna, from the time of Theodoric, show the same influence in combina-


Head of St. John Pre.sented to Herod, Dovatei.lo

tion with the Teutonic spirit, as in the sixth-century sculptures of San Vitale. In figure-carWng. how- ever, there is a distinct tending from symbohsm to realism. The rude Lombardic bas-reliefs of Milan and Brescia frequently border on the grotesque, but the authors went to nature for their hunting scenes and forms of animals. The bronze reliefs of the church of St. Michael. Hildesheim, Oennany. are one of the legacies of the eleventh century; those of the Golden Gate, Freiburg, are considered the finest work of the late Romanesque period.

With the merging of the Romanesque into the Gotiiic, rehef sculpture assumes a new character and a peculiar importance in its close association with architecture, and in the many uses it is put to in tympana, spandrels, etc. As a purely Christian and beautiful form of art it ranks high; numerous ex- amples are extant, especially in the northern coun- tries of Europe. In Italy it had small hold, for as early as 1.300 Andrea Pisano, who is called a Gothic, was inaugurating a renaissance. Picturesque relief reached its fullest development in F'lorence, as in the baptistery doors of Ghiberti and the marble pulpit of Santa Croce by Benedetto da Majano. Donatello in his admirable high and low reliefs and the Delia Robbias in their enamels return to a more plastic


conception. During the entire baroque period (Michelangelo being the last Itahan sculptor of the late Renaissance) works of a low order of in- spiration prevailed. The Danish sculptor Thor- waldsen, influenced by the study of Attic models, produced reliefs of great beauty and plasticism. The works of Canova were likewise classics, though frequent- ly cold and feeble. Rauch in Germany and Rude in France modelled spirited rehefs. In our day at the head of the admirable French school of sculpture stands Rodin, an im- pressionist and psychologist, producing unfin- ished rehefs which nevertheless are almost Greek in theirimprint of hfe. In Germany, Austria, and Eng- land, tine rehefs, especiallj- decorative works, are being modelled. In Spain and Italy the younger men are forming new schools of plastic work. In America, though good work in rehef is done, sculpture in the round prevails. Everywhere the tendency is to neg- lect the distinction between the different kinds of rehef, to be independent in method and treatment, and principles sway as of old between the pictorial and the plastic.

Lubke, History of Art (tr. New York, 1877); Gardner, A Handbook of Greek Sculpture (Lonilon. 1897); JlARrctHi. Les catacombea romaines (Rome, 1890); Perkins, Historuol Handbook of Italian Sculpture (London, 1883); McxTZ, Les preairseurs de la Renaissance (Paris, London, 1882).

M. L. Handley.

Basse Terre, Diocese of. See Guadeloupe.

Bassein, a town situated twenty-nine miles north of Bombay in British India, and now of much historic interest as an old settlement of the Portuguese. It is the birthplace of St. Gon.salo Garcia, the only Indian saint, who was a companion of St. Phihp de las Casas, the first native of .\merica to be canonized. These two missionaries were in the group of the first martyrs of Japan, crucified on the hill of Nagasaki, 5 February, 1597. Bassein was the most important settlement of th(j Portuguese in the north of India, Goa lying farther to the south. In many respects Bassein was Goa's rival in' the sixteenth and seven- teenth centuries, as Bombay is of Calcutta now. The city of Bassein, in the island of the same name, was founded in 1536 by Nunho de CHinha, one of those intrepid Portuguese soldiers who distinguished them- selves in India as warriors, administrators, and zealous workers for the spread of the Gospel. He conquered the island from its Mohammedan ruler, Bahadur Shah, King of Gujerat, and soon had a strong fort built in the south-western comer. The island is rich in timber, which was regarded in the sixteenth century as the best material for ship- building. Its fertility and position, together with its healthy cUmate, made it a commercial centre of some importance, and the home of many Portuguese noblemen.

Side by side with this early conquest and coloniza- tion the Gospel was spread by the zeal of the Fran- ciscan missionary, Antonio do Porto, to whom i.v attributed the conversion of 10,156 pagans, and who is known as the ".\postle of Ba.ssein". Father .An- tonio do Porto built at Agasshi in the northern