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Estelle M. Hurll

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .The archangel Michael, the angel visitors of Abraham, and the celestial spirits appearing to Heliodorus all follow closely upon the Madonnas in the purity and serenity of their beauty. In the same fellowship also belongs the beautiful youth in the crowd at Lystra, who is as sharply contrasted with his surroundings as if he were a denizen of another sphere. The ideal is again repeated in the St. John of the Cecilia altar-piece, whose uplifted face has a sweetness which is not so much feminine as celestial. The angel of Peter's deliverance is less successful than the artist's other angel[x] types. The head seems too small for the splendidly vigorous body, and the face lacks somewhat of strength.

If Raphael's favorite ideals were drawn from youth and womanhood, it was not because he did not understand the purely masculine. The Æneas of the Borgo fresco, the Paul of the Cecilia altar-piece, and the Sixtus of the Sistine Madonna show, in three ages, what is best and . . . Read More