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Rubens

      "It is just one hundred and twenty years to-day," said a young artist to his friend, as he stood in the hall of St. Mark, at Venice, contemplating the noble works of Titian. "Time, the destroyer, has here stayed his hand; the colors are as vivid and as fresh as if they were laid on but yesterday. Would that my old friend and master, Otho Venius, was here! At least I will carry back to Antwerp that in my coloring which shall prove to him that I have not played truant to the art."

      "Just one hundred and twenty years," repeated he, "since Titian was born. Venice was then in its glory, but now it is all falling; its churches and palaces are crumbling to dust, its commerce interrupted. The republic continually harassed by the Porte, and obliged to call on foreign aid; depressed by her internal despotism, her council of ten, and state inquisitors; her decline, though gradual, is sure; yet the splendor of her arts remains, and the genius of Titian, her favorite son, is yet in the bloom and brilliancy of youth!"

      Such was the enthusiastic exclamation of Rubens, as he contemplated those paintings which had brought him from Antwerp. How many gifted minds spoke to him from the noble works which were before him! The three Bellinis, the founders of the Venetian school; Giorgione, Titian, and Tintoretto. Then Paolo Veronese, who, though born at Verona, in 1537, adopted Venice as his home, and became the fellow-artist of Tintoretto, and the discip...

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