10 most famous works of Bernini (Naples, December 7, 1598-Rome, November 28, 1680)
Artificer of works as magnificent as his genius which won, widely, the title of best artist in Europe, as well as one of his best men. It was the last of an extraordinary series of illustrious universals of Italy and the Baroque style that helped to establish as the last Italian style to become an international standard, hence it is known as one of its greatest exponents throughout the seventeenth century, since he showed the world a different character to the sculptures.
Thanks to his father, he started and was passionate about the art of giving life to simple pieces of marble, for which he used his impressive ability to provide relief, gesticulation and elegance, practically achieved in sculpture what could only be seen in paintings, to the three-dimensional plane, something that remains very complex taking into account the quality of the tools of the time and their little professional training.
These attributes in his works earned him a great position in the Catholic Church of the time, which supported for eight years allowing him to create many of his world-renowned works both sculpture and architecture, works that remain today as a historical reference.
10 most famous works of Bernini
1. Aeneas, Anchises and Ascanio-1618/1619-Borghese Gallery, Rome
It was Commissioned by Cardinal Scipione Borghese to a young Bernini who would demonstrate in this piece his skills for statuary. The sculptural group was sculpted in marble and became the first to be made by the Baroque sculptor. The statue represents the flight, of a burning Troy, from the legendary founder of Rome Aeneas, who takes his father, Anchises, on his shoulders holding the family penates and his son Ascanio holding the sacred fire of the home.
2. The Rapture of Proserpina-1621/1622 – Borghese Gallery, Rome
Dramatism, strength and movement are impregnated in this sculptural group that reflects a more personal and evolved style of the artist. It was commissioned by Cardinal Scipione Borghese in 1621 and represents Proserpina, daughter of Jupiter, being kidnapped by Pluto, sovereign of hell, to make her his wife. The work is masterfully presented to be viewed from different points of view, and something admirable evidence of the young sculptor: an impressive study of anatomy, Mannerist integrated into a formidable twisted contraposto.
3. Ecstasy of Santa Teresa-1647 / 1651- Church of Santa María de la Victoria, Rome.
It is one of the most outstanding works of Baroque sculpture, in it, Bernini creates a theatrical picture of the Static of the Saint at the moment in which, suffering a mystical experience of pain and supreme magnificence with Christ, it transverberates in a supernatural and human way . It is a splendid Baroque piece, where the garments add to the atmosphere and are integrated with other elements to create a sensation of celestial levitation architecturally arranged among rich marbles, polychromes and bronze.
4. Fountain of the Four Rivers-1651- Piazza Navona, Rome.
Built to be built by Pope Innocent X in the mid-seventeenth century, this fountain has become one of the most famous in Rome. Bernini recreates an allegory to ennoble the Nile, Ganges, Danube and Rio de la Plata rivers. The piece results from a base formed by a large elliptical pool, crowned at its center by a marble mass, on which stands the Domitian obelisk, amid figures of wild animals.
5. Ecstasy of Blessed Ludovica Albertoni -1671 / 1674- Church of San Francesco a Ripa, Rome.
One of his last sculptures where he tried to idealize Ludovica’s ascension in a climatic state similar to El Éxtasis de Santa Teresa, for this the artist, in full use of baroque techniques, created a kind of vault in which lies the graceful figure of the woman resting on a mattress, whose fabrics are added to the clothes that cover her to create an effect of excellence in the midst of a naturally illuminated expression of embarrassment.
6. Apollo and Daphne-1622/1625-Borghese Gallery, Rome-Italy
The round sculpture on the mythological episode of Apollo and Daphne was made in white marble for the gardens of the recreation village of Cardinal Scipione Borghese. In this one, Apolo is introduced, who witnesses how the young woman raises her arms to the sky and watches as the transformation takes over her body becoming a laurel tree by the action of her father, who confers this to keep her away from the wishes of this God
7. David-1623/1624-Borghese Gallery, Rome, Italy
It was another of the orders of Cardinal Scipione Borghese in his capacity as patron of the great sculptor. The statue shows a concentrated David preparing to throw the stone with which he defeats the giant Goliath, the same one, has a form that alludes to the Mannerist serpentine with which he moves away from the verticality of his first works to emphasize masterfully in the action and show off the expertise with which it dominates the human anatomy.
8. San Longino-1629/1638-Basilica of San Pedro, The Vatican
One of his most monumental works, inspired by the moment in which Longinus converts to Christianity, which is typical of Bernini, represent people in symbolic episodes of his life. The work acquires life, movement and the drama of the Baroque, the spectacular folds of the garment were treated with excellent size and add tension in the direction of the Holy Lance, with which the centurion wounded Christ in a side at the moment of his passion.
9. Baldachin of San Pedro-1624/1632-Basilica of San Pedro, The Vatican
One of the most exquisite pieces of the artist that combines a number of elements that make symbiosis to create this unique work of Baroque style. Built in cast bronze, this colossal piece that merges the sculptural and the architectural was commissioned by Pope Urban VIII to use it as papal chair, is located on the tomb of St. Peter on the main altar of the basilica and framed in an essential way with the rest of its environment.
10. Fountain of the Triton-1642 / 1643- Piazza Barberini, Rome-Italy
The iconic fountain, executed in travertine, was commissioned by Pope Urban VIII to provide identity to Piazza Barberini in Rome. It is a colossal source in which Triton, God of the Sea and son of Poseidon, holds a conch shell in his hands and makes a sonar gesture, prompting sound jets of water. It is one of the first sources erected by Bernini and without any doubt, one of the most famous in Rome, being a must for hundreds of people.