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Letter from CHARLES ELIOT NORTON to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated February 2, 1871.

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Item Description

Title: Letter from CHARLES ELIOT NORTON to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated February 2, 1871.

Author

  • Norton, Charles Eliot

Recipient

  • Marsh, George Perkins, 1801-1882

Source Document

Extent: 1 letter

Genre(s): letter

Subject/name

Note [Digital Version]

, Center for Digital Initiatives, University of Vermont Libraries

Type of Resource: text

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Preferred citation

Letter from CHARLES ELIOT NORTON to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated February 2, 1871., Original located at the University of Vermont's Special Collections in the George Perkins Marsh Collection, filed by date., http://cdi.uvm.edu/collections/item/cengpm710202 (accessed July 28, 2014)

Letter from CHARLES ELIOT NORTON to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated February 2, 1871.

Transcribed by :

TEI mark-up by : James P. Tranowski andEllen Thomson


Published by: University of Vermont. All rights reserved.

Publication Information

Villa dell'Ombrellino.
Bellosguardo.
February 2, 1871.



My dear Sir

A few weeks since, being at Orvieto, I went to the church of San Domenico in that city, for the purpose of seeing the famous monument of the Cardinal de Braye one of the finest & most interesting of the few authentic remains of the work of Arnolfo da Cambio. I found the church, no longer used for religious services, in a deplorable state of dirt & neglect, and the monument of the Cardinal bearing marks of recent injury. I was told that, on occasion of the late passage of troops through Orvieto on the expedition to Rome, the church had been occupied as barracks for the soldiers, and that the injury to the tomb was due to their hands.

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A piece of the marble canopy above the body of the Cardinal was broken off, and numerous bits of the mosaic ornament had been picked out. The injury done is not yet irreparable, but it may soon become so if the tomb be left without proper protection, & if the church should again be occupied by soldiers.

I cannot doubt that the enlightened authorities who have in charge the historic monuments of Italian art would instantly see to the conservation of so precious a work of Italian genius, if their attention were called to the imminent peril of its destruction,--and I write to you in the hope that you may be able to present the facts in the proper quarter.

In the first volume of Crowe and Cavalcaselle's well known "New History -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- of Painting in Italy, the authors say "Most of the works assigned to him, (Arnolfo) have perished, except the tomb of Cardinal de Braye, executed according to Della Valle in 1280, at S. Domenico of Orvieto." p. 138

And in a note to the life of Arnolfo in the first volume of Lemonnier's edition of Vasari (p. 256) the commentators say "Tra le opere degne di memoria, e certe, che fece Arnolfo una fu il deposito del Cardinal di Braye, in San Domenico di Orvieto; nel quale lavorò di musaico, di scultura e di architettura magnificamente."

I cite these passages merely to show the esteem in which the work is held by competent judges, and its importance as a memorial of the art of the good age.

I am, with the highest -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- respect & regard,

Faithfully Yours

Charles Eliot Norton.His ExcellencyThe Hon. George P. Marshc.c.c.

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