English Writers: An Attempt Towards a History of English Literature

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English Writers.
BOOK VI.
JFrrrnt (Raxton to Coirerirale.
CHAPTER I.
NEW LIFE.—THE GREEKS IN ITALY.—GROCYN AND
LINACRE AT OXFORD.
Renaissance was, at first, a term in architecture. It
applied then only to the use of old Greek ornaments on
buildings not essentially Greek in plan. Walls
were adorned with columns that had nothing to ce*
support, and beauty was a warrant for unreason. This
Renaissance was of the fifteenth century. It began in
Rome with Filippo Brunelleschi, an architect who had first
shown his sense of beauty as a sculptor.* He left Rome in
1420, and he died in 1444.
* Donatello and Brunelleschi were close friends. Vasari tells that
Donatello, having carved in wood with utmost care a Crucifix for the
Church of Sta. Croce at Florence, looked for his friend’s praise. But
Brunelleschi told him that the figure on the cross was rather that of a
day-labourer than of the Christ, whose person must have been of
highest beauty, since He was, in all things, the most perfect man.
“ It is easy to find fault,” said Donatello. “ Take a piece of wood
yourself, and try to make a better Crucifix.” Brunelleschi said no
B—VOL. VII.

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