Gian Lorenzo Bernini was an Italian, being more precise Napolitan sculptor and architect who worked in the XVII. century. We can announce that he was perhaps the greatest sculptor of the baroque era – not to mention a genius architect and quite a fine painter.
If it is not your first time in Rome or this will be your first time here but you are a fan of the sculptor, it is worth to take a Bernini-tour and discover his works in the city.
Helping you to find these places, we have prepared a personalized Google Map where you find photos and further interesting information about them as well. You will find it here: https://goo.gl/BTu90h
Prepare yourself, take your comfortable pair of shoes and let’s discover the most important works that you need to see from his works:
Piazza Navona – Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi: The base of the fountain is a basin from the centre of which travertine rocks rise to support four river gods and above them, an ancient Egyptian obelisk surmounted with the Pamphili family emblem of a dove with an olive twig. Collectively, they represent four major rivers of the four continents through which papal authority had spread: the Nile representing Africa, the Danube representing Europe, the Ganges representing Asia, and the Río de la Plata representing the Americas.
In Villa Borghese Museum there are amazing early sculptures from his late teens/early 20s, including David, Apollo and Daphne, the Rape of Persephone, and Aeneas and Anchises.
The Chigi Chapel is the second chapel on the left-hand side of the nave in the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome. Here particularly the sculptures and inlaid stonework are the works as for example Daniel.
In Church of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte, you can find the statues of “Angel with the Crown of Thorns” and “Angel with the Superscription I.N.R.I“, both originally destined for Ponte Sant’Angelo but kept by Pope Clement IX.
Bernini’s design of the Piazza San Pietro in front of the Basilica is one of his most innovative and successful architectural designs. Within the basilica he is also responsible for the St Peter’s Baldacchino that is built as a massive spiraling gilded bronze canopy over the tomb of St Peter. Bernini’s four-pillared creation reached nearly 30 m from the ground. It is impressive.
Between Barberini and Repubblica metro stops, you will find Santa Maria della Vittoria, is a Roman Catholic titular church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Bernini’s masterpiece is in the Cornaro Chapel, to the left of the altar, is Ecstasy of St. Teresa. The statues depict a moment described by Saint Teresa of Avila in her autobiography, where she had the vivid vision of a seraph piercing her heart with a golden shaft, causing her both immense joy and pain. The flowing robes and contorted posture abandon classical restraint and repose to depict a more passionate, almost voluptuous trance.
Piazza Spagna is one of the most famous squares in Rome. In the middle of the square is the famous Fontana della Barcaccia, dating to the beginning of the baroque period, sculpted by Bernini and his father, Pietro Bernini.
The Doria Pamphilj Gallery is a large art collection housed in the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj. It is situated between the Via del Corso and Via della Gatta. Bernini’s sculptured bust of Portrait of Pope Innocent X was placed along with Velázquez’s portrait in a specially designated small room.
In Basilica Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, Bernini has designed one of the new type of funerary monuments, such as the seemingly floating medallion, hovering in the air as it were, for the deceased nun Maria Raggi.
Beata Ludovica Albertoni is a funerary monument by Bernini. The trastevere sculpture is located in the specially designed Altieri Chapel in the Church of San Francesco a Ripa. The figure of Ludovica Albertoni is presented on a mattress at the moment of mystical communion with God. The folds of her habit reflect her state of turmoil, and her head is thrown back onto an embroidered pillow supported by a headrest. Beneath her figure is a deeply crumpled sculpted cloth above a red-marble sarcophagus, where Ludovica is interred. The panel behind her is carved with stylized pomegranates; flaming hearts adorn the base of the windows. She is surrounded by putti, and waiting to rise to the Holy Spirit.
Bernini’s Medusa is a marble sculpture of the eponymous character from the classical myth and now it is part of the collections of the Capitoline Museums. The portrait draws on the myth of Medusa, the snake haired woman whose gaze could turn onlookers to stone. Unlike other depictions of the Medusa, such as Benevenuto Cellini’s Perseus and Medusa, the Medusa is not portrayed as a vanquished figure, her head severed from her body but as a living monster. Bernini’s decision to create a marble sculpture may be some kind of visual pun on the myth – creating a stone version of a living creature that could turn men to stone.
In the middle of the Piazza Barberini there is Fontana del Tritone that its centre rises a larger than lifesize muscular Triton, a minor sea god of ancient Greco-Roman legend, depicted as a merman kneeling on the sum of four dolphin tailfins.
Bernini died in Rome in 1680, and was buried in the Bernini’s family vault, along with his parents, in the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.
Sources: http://wikipedia.com, http://www.reidsitaly.com/