A Brief Background of Rome’s Most Iconic Sculptor: Bernini

Vatican Tours
Feb 18 · 3 min read

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, born in Naples in Italy in 1598, shaped the art scene of Rome to be a striking and emotionally powerful spectacle. Honoured as the most iconic sculptor, the majority of his creations and works are scattered across Rome, which was the heart of European art during that period.

After the Renaissance phase, which saw the production of classic artworks where symmetry and perspective were the focus elements, the Baroque age came a complete change in style. It was emotional, sensual and very intense. Baroque artists, like painter Caravaggio and sculptor Bernini portrayed more feelings, passion and movement in their works. Baroque works had more humane touches; they brought to life the innate drama and sentiments that define humanity. As a result, Bernini’s sculptures were very relatable and had the power to sway the masses.

Bernini was a powerhouse of creative talents. He was a skilled painter, architect, playwright and producer besides being a phenomenal sculptor. However, sculpting was his best gift and also his preferred form of art.

Extraordinary Talent pouring out from Young Hands

Bernini was nurtured in a family rich in creativity. His father, Pietro Bernini, was an artist who specialized in sculptures and allowed Bernini to join his work. In 1605, when Bernini was only seven years old, he travelled to Rome and worked on sculptures there along with his father. One such sculpture which Bernini and his father created together is Fontana della Barcaccia (1627), which illustrates a fanciful boat spilling over water and is located just below the Spanish Steps.

A short time after this, Bernini’s family shifted to Rome, where his artistic talent enthralled many powerful people. All the attention fuelled his hard working spirit and Bernini kept honing his skills throughout his life. He delved into Greek and Roman art, particularly enjoying studying the marble statues in the Vatican.

Wealthy men and powerful popes financed his work. In his life, Bernini worked for total of eight popes and created busts for six of them, which is truly a great achievement.

To keep reading about the stunning works of Bernini that lends Rome a unique beauty, click here: best-of-rome.blogspot.com/2018/10/berninis-art-in-rome.html?view=magazine