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MARCANTONIO

Fronde. As a recompense, he was nominated archbishop of Toulouse (May 28, 1652), but had to wait for the bulls of investiture till the 23rd of March 1654. It was difficult for him to please both pope and king. In the struggle against the Iansenists he used all the influence he had with the clergy to secure the passage of the apostolic constitution of the 31st of March 1653 (Relation de ce qui s'est fait depitis 165 3 dans les assembtées des évéques on sujet des cinq propositions, 1657); but in the rebellion raised by Retz, archbishop of Paris, against the king, he took the part of the king against the pope. Michel Le Tellier having ordered him to refute a thesis of the college of Clermont on the infallibility of the pope, Marca wrote a treatise which was most Gallican in its ideas, but refused to publish it for fear of drawing down “ the indignation of Rome.” These tactics were successful, and when Retz, weary of a struggle without definite results, resigned the archbishopric, Marca became his successor (Feb. 26, 1662). He did not derive much profit from this new favour, as he died on the 29th of Tune following, Without his nomination having been sanctioned by the pope.

Marca, clever and covetous, was also an historian of note. When very young he showed his interest in the past history of his native land, and in 1617, at the age of twenty-three, he had set to work looking through archives, copying charters, and corresponding with the principal men of learning of his time, the brothers Dupuy, André Duchesne and lean Besly, whom he visited in Poitou. His Histoire de Béorn was published at Paris in 1640. It was not so well received as his De Concordia, but is more appreciated by posterity. If Marca's criticism is too often undecided, both in the ancient epochs, where he supports the text by a certain amount of guesswork and in certain points where he touches on religion, yet he always gives the text correctly. A number of chapters end with an interesting collection of charters. It is to be regretted that this incomplete work does not go beyond 1300. During his long stay in Catalonia he made preparations for a geographical and historical description of this province, which was bound to France by so many political and literary associations. Baluze, who became his secretary in 1656, helped him with the work and finished it, adding clever appendices and publishing the whole in 1688 under the title M orca hispanica. Marca married Marguerite de Forgues on the 4th of June 1618, and had one son and three daughters. His son, Galactoire, who was president of the parlement of Navarre, died on the 10th of February 1689.

Marca's biography was written in Latin by two of his intimate friends, Etienne Baluze, his secretary (Epistola ad Samuetem Sorbierium, de vita, gestis et scriptis Petri de Marca, Paris, 1663), and his cousin, Paul de Faget (at the beginning of a collection of Marca's theological pamphlets, first published by Paul de Faget in 1668). This contained four treatises on the Eucharist, the sacrifice of the Mass, the erection of the patriarchate of Constantinople (in Latin), and the sacrament of the Eucharist (in French). It was supposed to contain heretical propositions and caused a good deal of scandal, inciting Baluze against Faget, both of 'whom abused the other, to defend the memory of the prelate. See Bayle's article in the Dictionnaire historiqus et critique (snv. “ Marca ”), and the Vie de Marca in the Histoire de Béam (vol. i., 1894) of V. Dubarat.


MARCANTONIO [Marcantonio Raimondi], the chief Italian master of the art of engraving in the age of the Renaissance, and the first who practised it in order to reproduce, not designs of his own invention, as earlier craftsmen had commonly done, but those of other artists almost exclusively. The date of his birth is uncertain, nor is there any good authority for assigning it, as is commonly done, approximately to the year 1488. He was probably born some years at least earlier than this, inasmuch as he is mentioned by a contemporary writer, Achillini, as being an artist of repute in 1504. His earliest dated plate, illustrating the story of Pyramus and Thisbe, belongs to the following year, 1505. Marcantonio received his training in the workshop of the famous goldsmith and painter of Bologna, Francesco Raibolini, usually called Francia. “Having more aptitude in design, ” says Vasari, “than his master, and managing the graver with facility and grace, he made waist-buckles and many other things in niello, such being then greatly in fashion, and made them most beautifully, as being in truth most excellent in that craft.” The real fame, however, of Marcantonio was destined to be founded on his attainments, not in the goldsmith's art generally, but in that particular development of it which consists of engraving designs on metal plates for the purpose of reproduction by the printing press. This art was not new in Italy in the days of Marcantonio's apprenticeship. It had been practised, in a more or less elementary form, for not less than forty or fifty years in the workshops alike of Venetia, the Emilia, Tuscany and Lombardy. But the technical aim of the Italian engravers had not hitherto been directed, like that of Schongauer or Dürer north of the Alps, towards securing such freedom and precision in the use of the burin as should impart to the impressions taken from their engraved plates both a striking decorative effect and a power of suggesting to the eye a complex variety of natural objects and surfaces in light and shade. The Italian masters had been satisfied with much more rudimentary effects. The Florentine primitives had been content either with very simple cloudy patches of cross-hatching in fine straight lines, or with broad open shadings in the manner of a bold pen-drawing. Mantegna and Pollaiuolo, the two chief original masters who practised the art, had used the latter method with great power but at the same time great simplicity.

By the beginning of the 16th century a desire for a more complicated kind of effects was already arising among the followers of the art in Italy. Both backgrounds and passages of foreground detail were often imitated, in artificially enough, from the works of the northern masters. Marcantonio himself was among the foremost in this movement. About eighty engravings can be referred to the first five or six years of his career (1505–1511). Their subjects are very various, including many of pagan mythology, 'and some of obscure allegory, along with those of Christian devotion. The types of figures and drapery, and the general character of the compositions, bespeak for the most part the inspiration, and sometimes the direct authorship, of Francia. But the influence of German example is very perceptible also, particularly in the landscape backgrounds, and in the endeavour to express form by means of light and shadow with greater freedom than had been hitherto the practice of the southern schools. In a few subjects also the figures themselves correspond to a coarse Teutonic, instead of to the refined Italian, ideal. But so far we find Marcantonio only indirectly leaning on the north for the sake of self improvement. It must have been for the sake of commercial profit that he by-and-by produced a series of direct counterfeits on copper from Albert Di.irer's woodcuts. These facsimiles are sixty-nine in number, including seventeen of Dürer's “Life of the Virgin,” thirty-seven of his “Little Passion,” on wood, and a number of single pieces. According to Vasari, Dürer's indignation over those counterfeits was the cause of his journey to Venice, where he is said to have lodged a complaint against Marcantonio, and induced the Senate to prohibit the counterfeiting of his monogram, at any rate, upon any future imitations of the kind. Vasari's account must certainly be mistaken, inasmuch as Dürer's journey to Venice took place in 1506, and neither of the two series of woodcuts imitated by Marcantonio was published until 1511. The greater part of the designs for the “Life of the Virgin” had, it is true, been made and engraved seven years earlier than the date of their publication; and it is to be remarked that, whereas Marcantonio's copies of the “Little Passion” leave out the monogram of Dürer, it is inserted in his copies of the “Life of the Virgin”; whence it would, after all, seem possible that he had seen and counterfeited a set of impressions of this series at the time when they were originally executed, and before their publication. But the real nature of the transaction, if transaction there was, which took place between Dürer and Marcantonio we cannot now hope to recover. Enough that the Bolognese engraver evidently profited, both in money and in education of the hand, by his