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(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - The Roman Emperors in Marble - 5. Nero

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four elephants to the place between the temple named
and the amphitheatre, where one yet sees a remnant of its
pedestal. Commodus modestly had his own regular but
vulgar and stupid features given to it. When Zenodorus’
statue was destroyed, is not known, but this probably
happened in an age that set less value upon the work of
art than upon the bronze of mingled gold and silver.
Still, the Flavians did not succeed in totally destroy-
ing to posterity Nero’s palace. What they left remain-
ing, under the baths, has been sought after and found
again ; and when the greatest artist of modern times de-
scended into the now subterranean passages, he found
there a spring of inspiration, which created a new era in
the history of decorative painting. It was Raphael, who,
accompanied by Giovanni da Udine, made this trip of
exploration. They saw then, in richer splendor of
color, what can yet be seen there below, though ever
more affected by the dampness and blackened by the
cicerone’s torch—decorations in which an inexhaustible
fancy had in sport lavished its wealth ; and when they
again mounted to the light of day, they brought with
them, in mind, the sketch for the wall pictures, Raphael
afterw^ards designed, and Giovanni da Udine executed, in
the arcades around the Damasus court in the Vatican

masterpieces which more than any other creation of the
Renaissance, show that that epoch is directly connected
with the antique.
The entrance by which Raphael made his w’ay into
the corridors of Nero, was soon after filled with rubbish
again ; and thus arose a story, as groundless as it is un-
worthy of the noble artist, that he himself had the open-
ing filled up, to prevent others from making the same
studies. First in the year 1812, through the excavations

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