Bernini’s Transformation of Rome from The Metropolitan Museum of Art video.



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Excerpts from The Met.  メトロポリタン美術館から抜粋

Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598–1680)

Gian Lorenzo Bernini dominated the Roman art world of the seventeenth century, flourishing under the patronage of its cardinals and popes while also challenging contemporary artistic traditions. His sculptural and architectural projects reveal an innovative interpretation of subjects, use of forms, and combination of media. Forging a path for future artists, he played an instrumental role in establishing the dramatic and eloquent vocabulary of the Baroque style.


Saint Peter’s
Under Pope Urban VIII, Bernini received the first of several commissions for Saint Peter’s—the enormous marble, bronze, and gilt baldacchino (1623–24) to stand over the papal altar. Soon after, he began a monument to Urban VIII (1627–47), a work that defined the iconography of future papal funerary monuments. In the later work of the Cathedra Petri (1657–66), placed in the apse to encase the ancient throne believed to be that of Saint Peter, natural light is intensified by scattered gilt rays to create a divine setting. Framed visually by the columns of the earlier baldacchino, the sacred work immediately captures the attention of the viewer. Bernini’s last work for Saint Peter’s, begun under Pope Alexander VII, was the design for the giant piazza leading to the church (1656–67). He himself likened the oval space defined by two freestanding colonnades as the mother church extending her arms to embrace the faithful.


Other Architectural Projects and Fountains

In 1642–43, Bernini worked on a fountain design for the Piazza Barberini. The resulting Triton Fountain, with its organic and natural motifs, honored the nearby Barberini Palace and exemplified Rome’s advance use of aqueducts. A sketch for the Triton Fountain (1973.265) shows the sea deity seated above four intertwined dolphins, raising a conch shell to his lips, creating a cascade of water. The later Four Rivers Fountain (1648–51, Piazza Navona, Rome) demonstrates Bernini’s knowledge of engineering principles. In this complex concetto (poetic invention), personifications of the Four Rivers lie around a basin of water. A naturalistic rock formation supports a monumental obelisk, creating the illusion of a magically suspended tower.