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The Ghost of Michel Angelo
Continued from page 1
It is marvellous how the teasing faun or Silvanus of the Romans has survived in Tuscany. I have found him in many forms, under many names, and this is the last. But why it should be Michel Angelo, I cannot imagine, unless it be that his face and stump nose, so familiar to the people, are indeed like that of the faun. The dii sylvestres, with all their endless mischief, riotry, and revelry, were good fellows, and the concluding and rather startling touch that the great artist in the end always bestows a valuable picture on his victim is really godlike-in a small way.
It is remarkable as a coincidence, that Michel Angelo was himself during life terribly annoyed and disturbed by people prying and speering about him while painting-especially by Pope Leo-for whom he nevertheless painted very good pictures. It would almost seem as if there were an echo of the event in the legend. Legend is the echo of history.
"This legend," remarks Flaxius, "may give a valuable hint to collectors. Many people are aware that there are in existence great numbers of sketchings and etchings attributed to Michel Angelo, Dürer, Raphael, Marc Antonio, and many more, which were certainly executed long since those brothers of the paint or pencil passed away. May it not be that the departed still carry on their ancient callings by the aid of new and marvellous processes to us as yet unknown, or by what may be called 'pneumato-gravure'? Who knows?-'tis a great idea, my masters ;-let us pass on or legit unto another legend!
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