Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

of them. One room contains several thousand original designs by Michael Angelo, Rubens, Correggio, Dürer, Rembrandt, and others of the old masters. The new Pinakothek, like the old, is a magnificent structure, and contains fifty-two rooms filled with modern paintings and other works of art. The portrait of Lola Montez, which formerly hung in the Gallery of Beauties in the Royal Palace, is now in a room here devoted mainly to paintings on porcelain, which are remarkable for their beauty. We may remark in passing that we have seen the neat frame house which Lola Montez occupied when she was on such familiar terms with the late King. Happy as we are to gaze upon the celebrated works of the old masters, we are free to say that we enjoy the modern paintings we see here quite as well if not better. Whether on canvas, glass, or porcelain, it would seem impossible to excel these modern pictures. We have seen nowhere anything more perfect or more exquisitely beautiful. Most especially do we admire many of the landscape paintings and descriptions of rural life. Here was one of a little girl, which we imagined might be a picture of a dearly beloved one away across the water. She is represented as sitting down in the grass of a meadow, with straw hat on and red umbrella over her head, plucking buttercups and daisies. Her face was beautiful, and she appeared happy as a lark. The pictures of the Swiss and Tyrolese scenery, embracing lake, mountain, hill, and valley, are superb. In one room, peculiarly constructed as regards the light, there are twelve or fifteen very large paintings, reaching from the ceiling nearly to the floor, and filling the room-all descriptive of Eastern cities and country landscape. Their mellow, yellowish light casts over one a feel

ing of listless drowsiness; and thus surrounded, it would not be strange were we for the moment to believe ourselves actual travelers in those distant lands.

We went one day to the Art Exhibition Gallery, where there is a large collection of paintings for sale -all modern, and mostly, it is presumed, by German artists. The one we should prefer the price of it being about $400-represents Beethoven at a piano, with four of his friends listening enraptured by his music. It is a perfect gem.

The Royal Palace, too, is filled with pictures, in one room of which we saw fourteen large historical paintings arranged after the manner of those in the rotunda of our Capitol. There are two rooms, called Halls of the Beauties, devoted exclusively to portraits of beautiful women. In company with us on our visit to this Palace were the English pastor already mentioned and another English gentleman who had spent thirty years as a teacher of English in Munich. The pastor facetiously called him our "guide, professor, and friend," and he was entitled to be so considered, for he was very efficient as a guide; as a professor, he had taught several of the royal ladies, whose portraits were before us; and he was very friendly in his bearing toward us all. He gave us the names of many of these beauties, some of whom are still living, and all, we believe, are of modern times. The floors of some of the rooms are of polished marble. In one is an ancient ivory chandelier, made by one of the Electors of Maximilian I.; in another, costly tapestry, filling five large panels, besides a piece composing a magnificent bedspread to the bed here occupied by Napoleon in 1809. In the gold embroidery, which cost

eight hundred thousand florins, forty persons were constantly employed fifteen years. In the Throne Room are twelve large gilt bronze statues, costing five hundred ducats each. (A ducat is about two dollars and twenty-eight cents, and a florin forty cents.) In the Antiquarium is a large collection of Egyptian, Roman, Greek, and German antiquities, all more or less interesting. The Treasury Room is loaded with precious jewels, valuable stones, and other costly articles. The Chapel is highly adorned and contains many valuable articles appropriate to the place. We might speak of the many celebrated. paintings seen here, but our recollection of them is too imperfect to admit of our doing justice to them. In the Court is a curious grotto of shells, with busts of females, made or covered with small shells, presenting the appearance, at a little distance, of persons recovered from small pox. Under the arch of the entrance-way is a stone weighing three hundred and sixty-four pounds, and in the wall three spikes one at the height of twelve feet, one at nine and a half, and the third a little lower. Duke Christopher, son of Albert III., is said to have hurled this stone to a great distance; and, showing his agility in leaping, the upper spike marks the point where his heel struck in leaping from the ground. The heel of Prince Conrad touched at the place of the second, and Prince Philippe's at the third nail.

We have been shown through the Royal Foundry, where we saw models of the statues of Washington, Jefferson, Marshall, Clay, Benton, Everett, Lincoln, and other Americans, and also of the bronze doors leading from the rotunda of our Capitol. We likewise saw portions of the bronze statue of Seward now being cast for the city of New York.

[graphic][merged small]

One evening we went with our pastor and professor to a lager beer brewery, where one helps himself to a mug holding between one and two quarts, and gets it filled with beer from the tank. There were ladies along, and they were rather averse to partaking of the delicious beverage in so rustic a manner out of the common mug; but truth (so precious to some travelers that they are very sparing of it) compels us to record that the mug, or jug, as it is called here, was returned empty.

We spent a few hours delightfully one evening at the theater, where we heard and saw performed Wagner's opera of "Tannhäuser." The curtain rose at six and the play was over by ten o'clock.

One beautiful afternoon we were driven beyond the city a mile or more to see the famous statue of Bavaria and Ruhmeshalle (Hall of Fame.) This fine hall, situated on high ground, "consists of a large Doric portico of Bavarian marble, forming three sides of a quadrangle and an open side, in the center of which rises Schwanthaler's colossal statue of Bavaria, about one hundred feet high, including the pedestal. There are forty-eight columns, with busts of eminent Bavarians. In the tympana are female statues, representing Bavaria, the Palatinate, Swabia, and Franconia, and in the frieze are upward of ninety metopes adorned with figures of victory and with reliefs symbolical of the arts and occupations of civilized society." The statue, as it is well known, represents a female standing by the side of a lion, also of colossal size, in a sitting posture. It is ascended by a flight of forty-nine steps in the interior. Eight persons at one time may be comfortably seated within this lady's head; and it is said that as many as twenty-nine men and two boys

« ÎnapoiContinuați »