Cornaro chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome
- (1645-1652)The Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome, belongs to the Discalced Carmelites, the order established by St. Theresa of Avila. When Cardinal Federigo Cornaro, Patriarch of Venice, established his funerary chapel in this church after moving to Rome in 1644, naturally he picked a major event in St. Theresa's life to adorn it. He gave the commission to the sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini, therefore granting him the opportunity to render one of the great monuments of the Baroque era. Above the altar of the chapel is St. Theresa floating among the clouds in the midst of a mystical experience she recounted in her writings. A sublime angel appeared to her and pierced her heart with an arrow, which, as she described, left her all afire and felt like the caress of God on her soul. Fittingly, Bernini's angel is draped in flamelike folds, tilts his head, and tenderly smiles at the saint. Saint Theresa's description of the event is quite sexual, with phrases one would expect in a narrative of a woman's intimate encounter with a lover. For that reason, Bernini depicted her in an orgasmic state. The colored marbles with varying veins, the metal rods descending on the saint from a hidden window to suggest spiritual light, and the heavenly glory painted on the ceiling add to the mystical sense of the event depicted. On the side walls of the chapel, members of the Cornaro family witness and discuss St. Theresa's experience. Bernini was a staunch Catholic, had close relations with the Jesuits, and practiced St. Ignatius of Loyola's Spiritual Exercises, which urged the faithful to picture each religious event in its setting and to meditate until able to feel the emotions of the characters in the story. Bernini applied these concepts to the Ecstasy of St. Theresa in the Cornaro Chapel. His work heightens the senses and brings the religious narrative to life.
Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. Lilian H. Zirpolo. 2008.
Look at other dictionaries:
Santa Maria della Vittoria — Church of Our Lady of Victory Santa Maria della Vittoria (Italian) S. Mariae de Victoria (Latin) Façade of Santa Maria della V … Wikipedia
Rome — /rohm/, n. 1. Harold (Jacob), born 1908, U.S. lyricist and composer. 2. Italian, Roma. a city in and the capital of Italy, in the central part, on the Tiber: ancient capital of the Roman Empire; site of Vatican City, seat of authority of the… … Universalium
House of Cornaro — Ca Cornaro, one of eight palaces along Venice s Grand Canal commissioned by the Cornaro family … Wikipedia
Éxtasis de Santa Teresa — Ubicación Iglesia de Santa María de la Victoria, Roma, Italia … Wikipedia Español
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
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
Baroque — art redirects here. Please disambiguate such links to Baroque painting, Baroque sculpture, etc. In the arts, the Baroque (pronounced /bə rɒk/) was a Western cultural epoch, commencing roughly at the beginning of the 17th century in Rome, Italy.… … Wikipedia
Donor portrait — This 15th century Nativity by Rogier van der Weyden shows the fashionably dressed donor integrated into the main scene, the central panel of a triptych. A donor portrait or votive portrait is a portrait in a larger painting or other work showing… … Wikipedia
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… … Dictionary of Renaissance art
Lanfranco, Giovanni — (1582 1647) Lanfranco studied with Agostino Carracci in his native city of Parma and, when his teacher died in 1602, he moved to Rome. There he worked as one of Annibale Carracci s assistants on the Farnese ceiling commission (c. 1597 1600).… … Dictionary of Renaissance art