Bernini, Gian Lorenzo


Bernini, Gian Lorenzo
(1598-1680)
   The son of the Mannerist sculptor Pietro Bernini, Gian Lorenzo was the most important sculptor and one of the most notable architects of the Baroque period. Born in Naples while his father was working in that region, in c. 1606 he moved with his family to Rome. There, Pope Paul V and his nephew Cardinal Scipione Borghese noticed Bernini's precocious talent and soon the young boy was creating sculptures for them. In his youth, Bernini also spent three years at the Vatican studying the ancient statuary and works by Michelangelo and Raphael. He was particularly taken with Michelangelo's accurate anatomical details and the sensuousness of his male forms—elements Bernini incorporated into his Martyrdom of St. Sebastian (c. 1615-1616; Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection), one of the early works he rendered for the Borghese. Also for his patrons was his first large-scale sculpture, the Aeneas, Anchises, andAscanius Fleeing Troy (1619; Rome, Galleria Borghese), followed by Pluto and Proserpina (1621-1622) and Apollo and Daphne (1622-1625), both for Cardinal Scipione and now in the Galleria Borghese, Rome. For this last commission, Cardinal Maffeo Barberini, later Pope Urban VIII, is said to have composed the inscription on the cartouche at the base. Cardinal Maffeo supposedly also held a mirror for Bernini so he could use his own likeness to execute his David (1623-1624; Rome, Galleria Borghese). This was his last large-scale commission for the Borghese since soon thereafter Maffeo was elected pope (1623) and he appointed Bernini the official papal artist.
   In 1624, Urban charged Bernini with the renovation of the façade of the fifth-century Church of St. Bibiana in Rome. The saint's body was found while the work was carried out so, to commemorate the recovery, Urban asked Bernini to also execute for the church a statue of the saint enduring her martyrdom (1624-1626). Also in 1624, Urban charged Bernini with the large bronze Baldacchino (1624-1633) for the altar of St. Peter's. Then, in 1629-1630, he put the artist in charge of the decoration of the basilica's crossing. This entailed filling the niches on the four main pillars that support the dome with statues related to relics housed at St. Peter's. Bernini provided the St. Longinus and then asked Francesco Mochi to render the statue of St. Veronica, Andrea Bolgi the St. Helena, and François Duquesnoy the St. Andrew. From 1628 to 1647, Bernini was busy executing the pope's tomb (Rome, St. Peter's) and, from 1648 to 1651, he was also working on the Four Rivers Fountain at the Piazza Navona, Rome, commissioned by Urban's successor, Innocent X. His later works include the Cornaro Chapel at Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome (1645-1652), the Cathedra Petri (1657-1666) and Tomb of Alexander VII (1671-1678), both at St. Peter's, and the Death of the Blessed Ludovica Albertoni (1674) in the Altieri Chapel at San Francesco a Ripa, Rome.
   As sculptor, Bernini stressed theatricality, the use of various materials of different colors and textures, and the combination of different media. He was a religious individual who had close ties to the Jesuits and is known to have practiced St. Ignatius of Loyola's Spiritual Exercises. St. Ignatius advocated meditation to feel the suffering of Christ, and Bernini's sculptures are similarly made to appeal to the viewers' senses and to enhance their emotional response. In architecture, Bernini was somewhat more conservative, preferring to adhere to the principles established by ancient and Renaissance architects. From 1656 to 1667, he was busy with the Piazza of St. Peter's, which he based on Michelangelo's Piazza del Campidoglio (fin. 1564). He created the Scala Regia, the ceremonial stairs that lead from the Vatican Palace into St. Peter's, in 1633-1666; the Church of Sant' Andrea al Quirinale in Rome for the Jesuit Order in 1658-1670; and the churches of Santa Maria dell' Assunzione in Ariccia and San Tommaso di Villanova at Castel Gandolfo in 1662-1664 and 1658-1661, respectively, these last two for Pope Alexander VII. In 1664, Bernini also submitted designs for the east façade of the Louvre in Paris at the invitation of Louis XIV. In the end, these were rejected, though they exerted great influence in the development of French architecture.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bernini Gian Lorenzo — Selbstportrait von Bernini Gian Lorenzo Bernini, auch: Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini (* 7. Dezember 1598 in Neapel; † 28. November 1680 in Rom) war einer der bedeutendsten italienischen Bildhauer und Architekten des Barock …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bernini, Gian Lorenzo — born Dec. 7, 1598, Naples, Kingdom of Naples died Nov. 28, 1680, Rome, Papal States Italian architect and artist credited with creating the Baroque style of sculpture. He began his career working for his father, a sculptor. Among his early… …   Universalium

  • BERNINI, Gian Lorenzo — (1598 1680)    Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the best known Italian architect of the Baroque era, was born during the time of the Counter Reformation and became the major architect in the revitalization of the city of Rome after the establishment of… …   Historical Dictionary of Architecture

  • Bernini, Gian Lorenzo — (7 dic. 1598, Nápoles, Reino de Nápoles–28 nov. 1680, Roma, Estados Pontificios). Arquitecto y artista italiano a quien se le atribuye la invención de la escultura barroca. Comenzó su carrera trabajando para su padre, que era escultor. Entre sus… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Gian Lorenzo Bernini — Autorretrato, Galleria Borghese, Roma …   Wikipedia Español

  • Gian Lorenzo Bernini — Selbstportrait von Bernini Gian Lorenzo Bernini, auch: Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini (* 7. Dezember 1598 in Neapel; † 28. November 1680 in Rom) war einer der bedeutendsten italienischen Bildhauer und Architekten des Barock …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gian Lorenzo Bernini — Bernini redirects here. For people named Bernini, see Bernini (surname). Infobox Person name = Gian Lorenzo Bernini| image size = 200px caption = A self portrait: Bernini is said to have used his own features in his David birth date = birth… …   Wikipedia

  • Gian Lorenzo Bernini — (Nápoles, 1598 Roma, 1680) fue uno de los artistas más destacados del barroco italiano. Escultor, arquitecto y pintor, Bernini es el heredero de la fuerza escultórica de Miguel Ángel y principal modelo del Barroco arquitectónico en Europa.… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Gian Lorenzo Bernini — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Bernini (homonymie). Le Bernin Autoportrait …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Brunnen auf der Piazza Navona von Gian Lorenzo Bernini mit Darstellung der vier Flüsse Nil, Ganges, Donau und Rio della Plata — Brunnen auf der Piazza Navona von Gian Lorenzo Bernini mit Darstellung der vier Flüsse Nil, Ganges, Donau und Rio della Plata …   Deutsch Wörterbuch


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