The collection brought Whiting praise from Louise Chandler Moulton. Both women were important in her life. In her early days with the Traveler , Whiting had been assigned to interview Kate Field, an author, lecturer, and actor; the two became close friends. Later she wrote Kate Field — A Record Beginning in Whiting traveled regularly to Europe for many years.
Though her books were criticized by reviewers as being rambling and unorganized, as Whiting herself admitted, they contain much interesting information about the multitude of people she knew and the places she visited. As her titles suggest, she found and shared the beautiful in everyone, in everything, in every place.
Whiting's interest in things seen and unseen led her to explore many different philosophies and religions, including Bahai, New Thought, and Theosophy. In the introduction to Victor Charbonnel's Victory of the Will , Whiting wrote: "The discovery of the law of telepathy has contributed signally to the understanding of the conditions of spiritual life, and the consequent advancement of intelligent comprehension.
If thought has such marvelous power as this, shall it not flash from mind to mind across that gulf we call death? She was also a contributor to the National Spiritualist Chicago in her later years. Whiting, who never married, died in Boston. Letters written to her are at the Boston Public Library. Whiting's The Golden Road includes information about her life from the time she was in St. Beautiful forms emerge from the marble; pictorial scenes glow from the canvas; song and story and happy, historic days are in  the very air.
To Italy, land of romance and song, all the artists came trooping, and. If the wraiths of the centuries long since dead walked the streets, they were quite welcome to revisit the glimpses of the moon and contribute their mystery to the general artistic effectiveness of the Seven-hilled City. It was, indeed, quite natural, on account of the stupendous work of Michael Angelo and the unrivalled museums of the Vatican, that Rome should have become pre-eminently the artistic centre of the nineteenth century and should have attracted students and lovers of art from all parts of the world.
The immortal works of the two great periods, the Greek and the Renaissance,—the art that was forever great because it was the outgrowth of profound religious conviction,—were enshrined in the  churches and the galleries of Rome. The leading countries of Europe sent here their aspiring students and established permanent academies for their residence. Germany, France, and England were thus represented. Thorwaldsen came as a pensioner from the Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen; and it was during his life, and that of the noble Canova, that Rome began to be recognized as the modern world-centre of art.
Was it not a natural sequence that the early painters and sculptors who came to study under the stimulating influences of the great masterpieces of the past should linger on in the city whose very air became to them the breath of inspiring suggestion? The perpetual festas of the church made the streets constantly picturesque with their processions of monks, and friars, and priests, and these wonderful blendings of color and scenic effect stimulated the artistic sense.
The expenses of living in Rome were then only a fraction of what the cost is at the present time; and as the city was the resort of the wealthy and cultured few, the artists were surrounded by the stimulus of critical appreciation and of patronage. Their work, their dreams, were the theme of literary discussion, and focussed the attention of the polite world. Their studios were among the important interests to every visitor in the Eternal City.
On the contrary, the traveller proceeded to Rome with serious deliberation, and with a more realizing sense of undertaking a journey than Walter Wellman experiences in attempting to fly in his aero-car to the North Pole and send his observations across the polar seas by wireless telegraphy. The visitor went to Rome for a winter, for a year, and gave himself up to leisurely impressions. In Rome, Thomas Cole painted some of his best pictures; and in Rome or Florence wrought a long list of painters and sculptors.
Among the more prominent of all these devotees of Beauty several nationalities were represented. Each might have said of his purpose, in the words of William Watson:—. Gaudens, and Charles Walter Stetson, the name of Mr. Stetson linking the long and interesting procession with the immediate life of to-day. Of these later artists Story, Miss Hosmer, Ezekiel, Vedder, Simmons, and Stetson are identified with Rome as being either their permanent or their prolonged residence. Gaudens was a transient student, returning to his own country to pursue his work; and of two young sculptors, Hendrick Christian Anderson and C.
Percival Dietsch, time has not yet developed their powers beyond an experimental stage of brilliant promise. The Rome of the artists of clay and canvas was also the Rome of the poets and romancists,  of authors in all lines of literary achievement. How the names of the procession of visitors and sojourners in the Eternal City, from Milton, Goethe, and Mme. Charles Walter Stetson , gleam from that resplendent panorama of the modern past of Rome! Like the words in electric fire that flash out of the darkness in city streets at night, there shine the names of Shelley and of Keats; of Gladstone, on whom in one memorable summer day, while strolling in Italian sunshine, there fell a vision of the sacredness and the significance of life and its infinite responsibility in the fulfilment of lofty purposes.
What charming associations these guests and sojourners have left behind! Samuel Gridley Howe and his poet wife, Mrs. Julia Ward Howe, in the first flush of their bridal happiness, when Mrs.
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During the last quarter of the nineteenth century, indeed, the visitors to Rome—authors, artists, travellers of easy leisure—defy any numerical record. Nearer at hand are the almond trees, in flower, or the orange trees, bright at once with their white, sweet blossoms and their golden fruit. Sometimes  I seem to see them where the sun sifts through the young green leaves, and her beauty—her human, deep-souled beauty—and his fantastic grace are the only things here that cannot change.
The visit to Rome of the Rev. Phillips Brooks—later the Bishop of Massachusetts—is immortalized in the most lifelike portrait bust of the great preacher ever modelled; a bust in which the genius of the sculptor, Franklin Simmons, found one of its noblest expressions, and has perpetuated, with masterly power, the energy of thought, at once profound and intense, in the countenance of Bishop Brooks. These, and many another whom the gods have loved and dowered with gifts, rise before any retrospective glance over the comparatively recent past of Rome.
Bishop Brooks  passed there the Holy Week of one Lenten season, and of the Miserere in the Sistine Chapel he wrote that it was certainly the most wonderful music to which he had ever listened; and he added:—. It was in the winter of that Mr. Longfellow expressed his love for the Eternal City, and in a personal letter  he said:—. There is so much in the city to delay the stranger; the villages in the environs are so beautiful, and there is such a quiet and stillness about everything that, were it in my power, I should be induced to remain the whole year round.
You can imagine nothing equal to the ruins of Rome. The Forum and the Coliseum are beyond all I had ever fancied them; and the ruined temples and the mouldering aqueducts which are scattered over the Campagna; I do not believe there is a finer view in the world than that from the eastern gate of the city, embracing the Campagna, with its ruined aqueducts diverging in long broken arcades, and terminated by the sweep of the Albanian hills, sprinkled with their white villages, and celebrated in song and story!
Whiting, Lilian (1847–1942)
But the great charm of the scene springs from association; and though everything in Italy is really picturesque, yet strip the country of its historic recollections,—think merely of what it is, and not of what it has been,—and you will find the dream to be fading away.
I mean, happy in their way. Samuel Longfellow, writes:—. Longfellow became for the season the centre of the group of American visitors and resident artists, whose well-known names need not be recounted.
Here he made, also, acquaintances among the Italians,—especially the Duke of Sermoneta, the Dantean scholar, and Monsignore Nardi, of the papal court. The Pope himself he did not visit.
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Calling  there one evening, in company with Mr. Healy the artist, the inner door of the apartment was opened to them by Liszt himself, holding high in his hand a candle which illuminated his fine face. The picture was so striking that Mr.
Italy, the Magic Land | by Lilian Whiting
Longfellow begged his companion to put it upon canvas,—which he did; and the painting now hangs in the library of Craigie House. At a morning visit, Liszt delighted the party with a performance upon his Chickering pianoforte. But Mr. Longfellow was never a good sight-seer. He was impatient of lingering in picture galleries, churches, or ruins. He saw quickly the essential points, and soon tired of any minuter examination.
But long, indeed, before nineteenth-century artists and authors laid siege to the Eternal City, in the far-away years of , Milton visited Rome, and there still remains the tablet, on the wall of the casa in the Via delle Quattro Fontane in which he stayed, a tablet bearing an inscription giving the date of his visit; as,  also, in Via Machella, there is an inscription marking the place where Scott lived during his visit to Rome.
Wherever we go and wherever we stand, we see about us a finished picture,—forms of every kind and style; palaces and ruins; gardens and wastes; the distant and the near houses; triumphal arches and columns,—often all so close together that they might be sketched on a single sheet. One should have a thousand points of steel with which to write, and what can a single pen do? Here one reads history from within outward.
Chateaubriand, who in his earliest youth had visited America as the guest of Washington, passed the winter of in Rome, and his pictorial transcriptions of the city and its environs are among the most exquisite things in literary record.
Whiting, Lilian (1847–1942)
As, for instance, this description of a sunset from Monte Mario:—. I have stood upon the Ponte Molle to enjoy the sublime spectacle of the close of day. The summits of the Sabine hills appeared of lapis lazuli and pale gold, while their bases and sides were bathed in vapors of violet or purple. Sometimes lovely clouds, like fairy cars, borne along by the evening wind with inimitable grace, recall the mythological tales of the descent of the deities of Olympus. This rich decoration does not vanish so quickly as in our climate.
When we think the hues are about  to disappear they revive on some other point of the horizon; one twilight follows another and the magic of sunset is prolonged. It was in the same year that Mme. In Rome the visitor follows Michael Angelo and Raphael through the various churches and museums. While the sublime work of Michael Angelo in the Sistine Chapel is always one of the first things in Rome  to which the traveller goes to study that incomparable work portraying the Creation—the Prophets and the Sibyls, the Angels and the Genii, that record the impassioned power of the master—yet all footsteps turn quickly, too, to the church called San Pietro in Vincoli, near the house in which Lucrezia Borgia lived, in which is the colossal Moses of Michael Angelo.
As it stands, it fails to convey the first design of the great sculptor.
Originally intended for the tomb of Pope Julius II, the plan included a massive block of marble some forty by twenty feet surmounted by a cornice and having its niches, its columns, and its statues, of which the Moses was to have been one. It would then have been judged relatively to the entire group, while now it is seen alone, and thus out of the proportions that were in the mind of the artist. The entire conception, indeed, was to unite sculpture and architecture into one splendid combination.
Torn, as it is, from its proper place; divorced from its proportionate companionship; stuck against the wall of a church; and brought face to face with the observer,—what wonder that so many of those who see it turn away with no other impressions than those of caricature and exaggeration!
The majestic character of the head, the prodigious muscles of the chest and arms, and the beard that flows like a torrent to the waist, represent a being of more than mortal port and power, speaking with the authority, and frowning with the sanctions of incarnate law. The drapery of the lower part of the figure is inferior to the anatomy of the upper part.
Remarkable as the execution of the statue is, the expression is yet more so; for notwithstanding its colossal proportions, its prominent characteristic is the embodiment of intellectual power. He looks as if he might control the energies of nature as well as shape the mould in which the character of his people should be formed.
That any one should stand before this statue in a scoffing mood is to me perfectly inexplicable. My own emotions were more nearly akin to absolute bodily fear. At an irreverent word, I should have expected the brow to contract into a darker frown, and the marble lips to unclose in rebuke. William Watson condenses his impressions of this majestic sculpture in the following quatrain. The impressive group of sculptures and buildings on the Campidoglio—where once the shrine of Jupiter Capitolinus stood—owes its present picturesque scheme largely to Michael Angelo. The historic statues of Castor and Pollux mark the portals; on either hand there are seen the Muses of ancient sculpture, the Palazzo Senatoriale and the Palazzo dei Conservatori.
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