( Originally Published Early 1900's )
It is generally agreed by art critics that Michael Angelo and Raphael stand at the head of the line of master painters. Conspicuous among the great paintings of the former are "The Last Judgment, "The Conversion of St. Paul," and "The Crucifixion of St. Peter" ; and among those of the latter, The Dispute Concerning the Sacrament," the Madonna di Foligno," and the Madonna del Pisce, or Virgin of the Fish. "The Last Judgment" is a large fresco-painting, sixty feet high by thirty feet wide, occupying the wall opposite the entrance of the Sistine Chapel, in the Vatican Palace at Rome. Over three hundred figures are represented in the most violent attitudes and most admired disorder. "The Conversion of St. Paul" is another large fresco-painting in the Vatican. "The Crucifixion of Peter," also in the Vatican, is one of the last from the hands of Angelo. "The Dispute Concerning the Sacrament" is a fresco, representing, above, a convocation of the saints around the Almighty, the Saviour, and the Virgin, enveloped in heavenly glory, while beneath the ceremony of the Consecration of the Sacrament is depicted. This is found in the Camera della Segnatura of the Vatican. "The Madonna di Foligno," in the Vatican gallery, derives its name from the city of Foligno, which is represented in the background. The "Madonna del Pisce," now in the gallery at Madrid, Spain, represents the Virgin and Child enthroned, with St. Jerome on one side, and on the other an archangel with the young Tobit, who carries a fish, from which circumstance the name is derived. "The Madonna di San Sisto" is considered by many critics the best of Raphael's works. It is located in the gallery of Dresden, Germany, and represents the Madonna standing upon the clouds surrounded with glory, holding in her arms the eternal son. Saint Sixtus and Saint Barbara kneel at the sides. It was originally painted on wood, but has been transferred to canvas. The painting of "The Last Supper," by Leonardo da Vinci, is recognized as one of the master-pieces. It was originally painted, by order of the Duke of Milan, on the walls of the refectory in the Dominican convent of the Madonna della Grazie. Rubens' paintings of the Descent from the Cross "and Elevation of the Cross," at Antwerp, rank high as master-pieces. "The Adoration of the Trinity," by Albert Durer, at Vienna, and his two pictures containing life-size figures of Peter and John, Mark and Paul, presented to the Council of Nuremberg, Germany, are also very famous. The two pictures of Mary Magdalen are also among the most famous in the worldó "La Bussendi Magdalina," by Corregio, now in the Dresden Gallery, and one by Guido Reid.