Evidently Not Everyone I Know Knows Bernini

I was going on about Bernini yesterday and Amy stopped me.

Amy: Who is Bernini?

Me: Um, he’s a sculptor. Baroque period. You know?

Amy: No. He’s not Michelangelo or somebody famous. (Read: he’s not a Ninja Turtle.)

Me: This is a travesty. I’m going to go cry in my room.

For the record, Gianlorenzo Bernini lived a long time. He lived so long and was so famous throughout Europe that he essentially WAS Baroque sculpture. Sculptors either worked for Bernini, followed the Bernini tradition, or were actively trying not to be Bernini.

Incidentally, I love Bernini. He made sculptures like this one.


Extasis of St. Teresa, 1652. Photo by sailko.

And this one.


Abduction of Proserpina, 1622. Photo by int3gr4te.

And many others.

Do you know how old he was when he made Abduction of Proserpina? 23. That’s outrageous. This sculpture was made of about four pieces of marble that are doweled together, but Bernini was so careful about the finishing that you can’t find the seams. Even when you see the sculptures in person, it’s impossible to tell that this isn’t one large piece of marble. Unfortunately, I can’t find a public domain/creative commons image of my favorite detail of this piece. So if I may direct you to this link, so that you can see the incredible skill of Bernini. That’s not a photograph. It’s a chunk of rock. A really pretty chunk of rock.

So now you know a little bit more about Bernini. Or you know who Bernini is at all. I hope you feel enriched.

(And Amy, Bernini was a Roman artist. It is Proserpina.)

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6 thoughts on “Evidently Not Everyone I Know Knows Bernini

  1. I got that. I was merely complaining because every Greek purist (since I am obviously educated enough to call myself a Greek purist) knows the Greek versions are superior. Her name is Persephone.

    And it’s not my fault he’s not a Ninja Turtle!

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