Bernini's Biographies: Critical Essays by Maarten Delbeke

By Maarten Delbeke

Targeted between early sleek artists, the Baroque painter, sculptor, and architect Gianlorenzo Bernini used to be the topic of 2 monographic biographies released presently after his loss of life in 1680: one by means of the Florentine gourmet and author Filippo Baldinucci (1682), and the moment by way of Bernini's son, Domenico (1713). This interdisciplinary number of essays via historians of paintings and literature marks the 1st sustained exam of the 2 biographies, initially as texts. a considerable introductory essay considers every one biography's writer, genesis, and foundational function within the examine of Bernini. 9 essays combining art-historical examine with insights from philology, literary heritage, and paintings and literary conception supply significant new insights into the multifarious connections among biography, artwork heritage, and aesthetics, inviting readers to reconsider Bernini's lifestyles, artwork, and milieu.

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143 Despite all of his ambitions and his apparent successes Baldinucci struggled with a crisis of confidence and depressive tendencies. “He lost heart and fell into an extraordinary melancholy,” his son wrote, “which brought on a chronic hydropsy in March 1696. 145 Are we thus to read his portrayal of Bernini’s spirituality as the author’s projection of his own spiritual state onto his subject or as a conventional formulation? How does Baldinucci’s language of spirituality and religious practice compare to that of Domenico, the Church historian?

67 As demonstrated in Heiko Damm’s essay, the biographies endeavor to represent Bernini’s creativity as a result, if not as an expression, of the exceptional devotional fervor of the artist. 70 The biographical fusion of art and religion has also profoundly impacted the way that scholars study Bernini’s role in his religious commissions. Because Bernini’s religiosity turns his art into something eminently personal, the importance of patrons, assistants, models, and historical context is played down.

Qxd 11/10/06 7:04 AM Page 22 prolegomena Cavalier Gio. ” With the desire to ennoble his presses by publishing the biography, Bernabò continued, Domenico “corrected and augmented it in some parts, and kindly . . 99 From this we could infer that the composition of his father’s biography took place before 1685. D’Onofrio, however, argued that Domenico’s manuscript was written even earlier, and formed the basis of Baldinucci’s text. It remains in fact unclear when Domenico first penned a fully developed life of his father, and to what extent that text resembled the book published in 1713.

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