Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the leading sculptor of the 17th century, and the artist who made Rome the Baroque beauty we can still admire today, is the subject of a major exhibition currently on view at Galleria Borghese in Rome.
It is “the greatest exhibition ever made on Bernini,” according to one of the curators, Andrea Bacchi: it features 76 of his works, many on loan from museums around the world, mostly marble sculptures, but also bronzes, paintings, sketches, on display in the rooms of the Borghese Gallery, which is celebrating 20 years since its reopening after a lengthy restoration with this exhibition, simply titled ‘Bernini’. The works on loan join some of Bernini’s masterpieces on permanent view at the gallery, including the spectacular Rape of Proserpine, Apollo and Daphne, and David.
The exhibition focuses on Bernini sculptor, starting with the works he made in his youthful years together with his father Pietro, Gian Lorenzo’s first teacher, all the way to the marbles of the last years of his production; in addition, it presents a number of themed exhibits, dedicated to other aspects of his career, including painting (it is the first time that more than a dozen of his paintings are shown in the same location), restoration, cupids, busts, sketches (like the one of the Fountain of the Four Rivers, the masterpiece in Piazza Navona), to provide an all-round portrait of the artist.
“There could be no other place where to stage this exhibition,” said Galleria Borghese’s director Anna Coliva. It is in the Galleria Borghese that Bernini started his career, thanks to the wealthy and powerful Cardinal Scipione Borghese, Bernini’s early patron, the man who put together the first nucleus of the art collection on display in the gallery today.
The Bernini exhibition was made in partnership with the fashion house Fendi, which financed the transportation of Bernini’s works from the various museums worldwide, including the Louvre and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, a feat that cost 500,000 Euros.
Bernini is on display at the Galleria Borghese until February 4, 2018. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 9am to 7 pm. Advance reservation mandatory. For more information, visit the Galleria Borghese’s website.