Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2.djvu/815

This page needs to be proofread.


BRANCACCIO


737


BRANCATI


severe reproaches for his lack of sentiment and earned for him the nickname of Ruinante. Never- theless, the incomparable significance of this creation must not be overlooked because of such romantic sentiments, nor must it be forgotten that the pope had Bramante's plan carried out in spite of all remonstrances and of the enormous cost.

The artistic aims of the structure, or more es- pecially of the original plans, are revealed by the numerous drawings, executed partly by the master himself, and partly by his assistants. Their critical examination and uesthetic appreciation are among GejTiiulIer's chief achievements. According to him this brilliant plan passed through three stages: in the first, only a small chapel for the tomb of Julius II was contemplated; in the second, the continuation of the erection of the new buildings undertaken during the reigns of Nicholas V and Paul II; only in the third stage was an entirely independent new building decided upon. For it Bramante had in view, from the first, a building of centralized plan, more particularly the plan of a Greek cross. In this he saw the architectonic ideal which combined the greatest harmony, the most serviceable space-rela- tions, as well as a tendency to the monimientally sublime. It was only as an alternative, so far as can be judged from extant sketches, that the master seems to have reserved for himself the possibility of using the Latin cross, being evidently compelled to make concessions to the liturgical needs of the Church. According to the oldest drawings and a memorial medal of Caradosos, dated 1506, the origi- nal ground plan was a pure Greek cross, tlie termina- tion of whose arms was apsidal on the interior, rectangular on the exterior. An immense dome was carried over the crossing. The predominant form of the interior was rotunda-like. For the four corners immense chapels were planned, which again repeated the Greek cross; they were crowned by smaller domes, and each was flanked on the exterior by a tower. Between the apses of the cross-arms and these corner-towers lay large vestibules for the chapels of the flanking domes. In a .second design the cross-arms are rounded and enclosed by im- mense ambulatory halls. The main dome is en- circled by an arcaded colonnade. The piers of the domes were enriched by niches emphasizing the dominant idea of the interior. In Milan, San Lorenzo, a church of centralized plan (see Byz.\ntine AncHi- tectuke), evidently served as a model for this design. The principal ideas, however, were taken from the Pantheon and the Temple of Peace, which was the origin of the saying attributed to Bramante, that he would set the Pantheon on the Temple of Peace. The master was permitted to see only the initial steps towards the execution of his plan. He was able, nevertheless, to establish firmly its main lines for the architects who followed, inasmuch as the dome-supports with their arches, the southern tran- sept, and the side domes were carried out under his direction. After his death in 1514 the continuation of the work was entrusted to the aged Fra Giocondo, and soon after (on a recommendation made by Bramante during his lifetime) to Raphael. Later on, San Gallo and Peruzzi were placed in charge. Bra- mante's plans suffered many changes and encroach- ments under the various directors until Michaelangelo returned to the fundamental ideas of the brilliant creator, and by the completion of the dome sub- stantially carried the work to a conclusion. The curvature of the dome is not quite as bold and effective as that planned by Bramante; on the other hand it offers in its greater rise, a much more elegant and vigorous silhouette.

I'nder Julius II the influence of Bramante was predominant. Not only were the most daring works rif architecture entrusted to him, but all other impor-


tant building operations, and, in general, all artistic undertakings depended on his initiative and ap- probation, as the painting of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and of the loggie and the stanze, or halls, of the Vatican. In this way, Raphael, his younger townsman, received the greatest possible aid and favour, whilst Bramante's intrigues against Michaelangelo were positively spiteful, according to Vasari. Tlirough en\-y of Michaelangelo 's mighty genius, he assigned to this great master only un- suitable and unpleasant commissions. Though these tragically strained relations between the two great artists at tlie court of the Rovere pope seem to be a psychological puzzle, the key is to be found in the hard and self-torturing character of the Florentine. Bramante on the contrary, was a man who enjoyed life in a happy and liberal way, and who knew how to live up to the dignity of his prominent position. The manifold character of his interests and activities is yet visible in his poems which have come down to us. With Michaelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo, he is one of the great intellects of the High Rennais- sance; he resembles them also in the fact that only a small part of his plans was completed.

PuNGlLEOxi, Memorie iniemo alia vita di Bramante (Rome, 183G): Von Geymuller, Les projeis primitifs de la basilique de S. Pierre (Paris. 1875); Semper in Dohme. Kunsl u. Kunstler (Leipzig. 1879), III, nos. 56-57; Ricci. Gli affreschi di Bra- mante (Milan, 1902); C.\rotti, Leonardo, Bramante, e Raffaello (Milan, 1905.)

Joseph Saiier.

Brancaccio, an ancient and illustrious Neapolitan family, from which the "Brancas" of France were descended. The family founded the celebrated Brancacciana Library at Naples, gave prominent officials to the State and from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century, seven cardinals to the Church. It is represented to-day by two branches, the "Prin- cipi di Ruffano" and the "Principi Brancaccio". The seven cardinals were as follows: (1) L.\xdolfo, b. at Naples; d. at Avignon, 1312. He was created cardinal in 1294 by Celestine V, entrusted with difficult nego- tiations under Boniface VIII and Clement V, and at- tended the General Council of Vienne (1311-12). (2) LuiGi, a learned canonist, d. 1411. He was ap- pointed by Innocent VII Nuncio to Naples, and made Archbishop of Taranto and cardinal (1408) by Greg- ory XII. (3) NicoLu, d. at Florence, 1412. He was made Archbishop of Cosenza in 1376; he sided with the antipopes Clement VII and Benedict XIII, and was created cardinal by the former in 1378. (4) Ri- NALDO, d. at Rome, 1427. He was raised to the cardi- nalate by Urban VI in 1384, was present at the Council of Constance (1414-18), and filled several important missions. (5) Tommaso, d. in Rome, 1427. He was created cardinal in 1411 by his uncle, John XXIII, and was present at the Council of Constance. His private life is said to have been far from exemplary.

(6) Francesco M.^rta, b. about 1591; d. 1675. He became Bishop of Capacio, Viterbo, and Porto, and was created cardinal in 1634 by Urban VIII. Among other wTitings, he has left a dissertation on the question whether chocolate breaks the fast or not.

(7) Stefano, nephew of Francesco Maria, b. at Naples, 1618; d. 1682. He was nuncio at Florence and Venice, Bishop of Viterbo in 1670, and cardinal in 1681.

Vast in La grande encyc, VII, 985.

N. A. Weber. Brancati, Francesco, b. in Sicily in 1607; he entered the Society of Jesus in 1624 and went to the Chinese Missions in 1637. For nearly thirty years he laboured with admirable zeal and success in the Prov- ince of Kiang-nan, building, it is .said, more than ninety churches and forty-five chapels. In 1665 he was exiled from Peking to Canton, where he died in 1671 (according to Sommervogel, at Shanghai). He wrote and published numerous books in Chinese, most