Bernini, Gian Lorenzo

Bernini, Gian Lorenzo

biographical name


Apollo and Daphne, marble sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, …—SCALA/Art Resource, New York

(born Dec. 7, 1598, Naples, Kingdom of Naples—died Nov. 28, 1680, Rome, Papal States) Italian architect and artist credited with creating the Baroque style of sculpture. He began his career working for his father, a sculptor. Among his early sculptures are Apollo and Daphne (1622–24) and an active David (1623–24). Under the patronage of Urban VIII, the first of eight popes he was to serve, he created the baldachin over the tomb of St. Peter in Rome. Bernini's architectural duties increased after 1629, when he was appointed architect of St. Peter's Basilica and the Palazzo Barberini. His works often represent a fusion of architecture and sculpture, as in the Cornaro Chapel, in Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome, with its celebrated theatrical sculpture, The Ecstasy of St. Teresa (1645–52). His greatest architectural achievement is the colonnade enclosing the piazza before St. Peter's. Among his many other contributions to Rome are his Triton Fountain and Fountain of the Four Rivers, noted for their architectural composition and detail.

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