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Gian Lorenzo Bernini Gave His Subjects A Strong Sense Of Realism

Abhishek Kumar

DECEMBER 07, ON THIS DAY

“There are two devices which can help the sculptor to judge his work: one is not to see it for a while. The other is to look at his work through spectacles which will change its color and magnify or diminish it, to disguise it somehow to his eye, and make it look as though it were the work of another.”

Gian Lorenzo Bernini

\"\" Self-portrait of Bernini

Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini, often regarded as the best sculptor of the 17th century, is credited with creating the Baroque style of sculpture. He is also famous for his superb architectural designs. Bernini was a highly inventive and expressive artist who produced some of Rome\’s most famous sculptures, paintings, and buildings. His works had a significant impact on Italian Baroque art and are now regarded as having the best representations of religious ecstasy.

\"\" Bust of Pope Paul V by Bernini.

Bernini was innovative and greatly admired as a sculptor. By using darkness and even giving the skin and hair a textural awareness, he was able to offer his subjects a touching sense of realism. Bernini specifically deviated from convention by constructing figures that were in motion. The additional drama and emotion created by this made it easier for the audience to relate to both the individual and their particular point in time. The Ecstasy of St. Therese in the Cornaro Chapel is one of Bernini\’s most famous pieces. It makes an effort to depict a spiritual sense of unadulterated delight. St. Therese\’s actual account of her religious experience served as inspiration for the piece. Some of his famous mythological groups of sculptures include, “Aeneas and Anchises”, “Pluto and Persephone”, “Apollo and Daphne” and “David” for Cardinal Scipione Borghese.

\"\" Ecstasy of Saint Teresa

Gian Lorenzo Bernini was born in Naples on December 7, 1598 to Angelica Galante and Pietro Bernini. Because he was the son of a sculptor, Bernini began his studies at a very young age, and by the time he was 10 he had made such remarkable progress that he had successfully sculpted an angel\’s head in marble. Bernini was said to be endowed with unique technical skills and fertile inventiveness. He made the best and most of his talents not only in sculptures but also in architecture and managed to do justice to both of these professions of art. Along with his colleagues, the architects Francesco Borromini and Pietro da Cortona, a painter and architect, Bernini was a key player in the development of Roman Baroque architecture. They had all worked at the Palazzo Barberini together early in their careers, first for Carlo Maderno and then for Bernini after Carlo passed away.

\"\" St. Peter\’s baldachin

In whatever sector he worked in, his creative thinking and honourable dedication brought him great success and honour. Bernini continued to contribute his works to the architectural world with a dash of good fortune and a higher degree of hard effort thanks to the Pope\’s unwavering support in the field of architecture. One of Bernini\’s most creative and effective architectural ideas is the Piazza San Pietro in front of the Basilica. He was also responsible for decorating the Baldacchino, the four piers beneath the cupola, the Cathedra Petri, or Chair of St. Peter, in the apse, the Blessed Sacrament chapel in the right nave, and the new nave. He also created close to 150 paintings throughout his career, some of which are now on display at the Uffizi Gallery. These works include a number of Self-Portraits, a Portrait of Pope Urban VII, David with the Head of Goliath, Saint Andrew and Saint Thomas,  Portrait of a Boy, and Head of a Youth or Head of an Angel. Decorating lovely fountains for public spaces was one of Bernini\’s hallmark achievements. One of his brilliant masterpieces is the Triton Fountain, which depicts four dolphins hoisting a massive shell that is carrying the Sea God in the Piazza Barberini.

\"\" Sculpture: Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius Fleeing Troy

Gian Lorenzo Bernini passed away from a stroke on November 28, 1680, and was buried at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, where his parents had also been cremated. Bernini had a significant impact on the city of Rome, altering its architecture and leaving a legacy that few artists have surpassed. Along with Donatello, Michelangelo, and Canova, Bernini is among a line of outstanding Italian sculptures.  Johann Winckelmann and other academics held that art should stimulate the mind, whereas Bernini\’s work did it excessively through the senses.

\"\" David by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Sources:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gian_Lorenzo_Bernini
  2. https://www.theartstory.org/artist/bernini-gian-lorenzo/
  3. https://assignmentpoint.com/biography-of-gian-lorenzo-bernini/

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