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BELIQUBS OF BERNARD PALISSY.

Newyddion
Dyfynnu
Rhannu

BELIQUBS OF BERNARD PALISSY. A most remarkable discovery has just been made under the gallery of the Louvre, in the Place du Car- rousel, where it is being rebuilt. It is one of the ovens in which Bernard de Palissy baked his celebrated pottery. The Debats says:— Some vitrified bricks first led Mr. Berty to think that he had to do with a potter's oven, and it struck him it might possibly be that of Bernard Palissy, the prince. of potters. He prevailed upon the architect of the palace, M. Lefuel, to have the excavation con- tinued on purpose outside the line that had been traced, and seon they came upon carneaux (openings in the vault of ovens) and upon fragments of gazettes (cases used to put the pottery into the oven); then, fur- ther on, they found large pieces of moulds of figures and of various objects and plants, evidently modelled on the natural substances, and which at first ap- peared singularly strange, and even inexplicable, to any one not thoroughly acquainted with Palissy and his ways. Thus, one of these moulds seemed a fantastical bust, a sort of monster, composed- even to the features of the face and the two eyes- entirely of shells. Others were moulds of human limbs, on which the very hairs of the body were to be dis- cerned; others showed strange costumes and coarse striped stuffs. These seemingly enigmatical relics, as fresh as if they had been placed there only the day before, clearly told their own tale and origin. In the eyes of a connoisseur such moulds could be none other than those of the Termes conceived and executed by Bernard Pallisy for the grotto he constructed in the garden of the Tuileries, towards 1570, by order of the Queen mother, Catherine de Medicis. In a manuscript memoir of the illustrious artist, found in a broker's shop at La Bochelle by M. Beniamin Fillon, and pub- lished by him only four years ago, we find the follow- ing :—" As to the Termes which shall be seated on the rock of the fountains, there should be another, which wnnlrl hA all fftwio/L nf varinnia mavifima "hAI1. namely, the two eyes of two shells, the nose, mouth chin, forehead, cheeks, the whole of shells, as well as all the residue of the body. Item, I would make three or four of them attired, and with their heads dressed in strange manners, which dress and coiffure should be of divers linens, cloths, or striped substances, approaching nature so nearly that no man could tell the difference. And, if it pleased the Queen-mother, I would make certain figures from life, imitating nature so closely that even the little hairs of the beards and eyebrows, of the same size as on the human body, should be observed." Certainly nothing could correspond more closely than this description (written in the quaint old French of that day) with the objects just found. M. Read hastened with the news of the discovery to M. Riooreux, of the Sevres porcelain manufactory, and that gentle- man taken to the spot, was at once convinced. A dozen great moulds were found, without reckoning small fragments, and two days later three or four pieces of enamelled earthenware. It was here, there- fore, that Maitre Bernard dea Tuileries, as he is called on the cover of a copy of his admirable book, dated 1563, and preserved in the Imperial Library, lived and worked before he was cast, in 1590, into the Bastille on account of his religious opinions, after having miracu- lously escaped the massacre of St. Bartholomew's eve. According to the Abbe de Lestoile, his contemporary, he died in misery in that far-farmed but mute witness of the crimes of the French monarchy.

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