Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Artist Three: Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Gian Lorenzo Bernini is a great big badass.

(David, 1623–1624. Marble.)
(Rape Of Prosperpina, 1622. Marble)
(Apollo and Daphne, 1622. Marble.)
(Borghese Hermaphroditus, 1620. Marble.)
(Okay, technically, Bernini only sculpted the mattress, which is apparently so realistic that thousands upon thousands of visitors attempt to touch it every year)

Gian Lorenzo Bernini was a Baroque sculptor (who also dabbled in poetry, playwriting, painting and architecture). In his sculptures, he specialized in portraying lifelike human figures and dramatic emotion and tension. He was a student of Classical sculpture, who outshined many other sculptors of his time. Bernini was deeply religious-- this is reflected in many of his works involving focus on religious worship or Biblical narrative.

I love Bernini's sculpture because he captures expression fantastically; his sculptures look more human than humans sometimes. He is also a master of the human figure: with The Rape Of Prosperpina, Pluto's fingers dig into Prosperpina's flesh and there are actual marble tears gliding down the side of her face. Impressive, yes. WHAT, HE WAS ONLY TWENTY-THREE YEARS OLD AT THE TIME OF COMPLETION? If that isn't the most radical thing you've ever heard then you are not learning art history properly.

There is only one piece of Bernini's I am less-than-fond of, and that is The Ecstasy Of Saint Theresa, and that is ONLY because there's a great big mass of cloth there that envelops her figure. The cloth is sculpted well, sure, but I would have liked to see Theresa's body. BUT WHAT DO I KNOW BERNINI'S A MADMAN AM I RIGHT

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