Gian Lorenzo Bernini


Incredible sculptor, painter and architect of Italian origin, Gian Lorenzo Bernini was an amazing artist who mastered Roman art during the 17th century. He challenged all those artistic traditions that prevailed in contemporary times under the care and protection of cardinals and popes. His works, projects and works of art, both in the area of ​​sculpture and in the architectural field, present us with an innumerable amount of innovative themes , different uses of forms and combinations.


Personal information

  • When was he born: 12/07/1598
  • When he died: 11/28/1680
  • Nationality: Italian

Who was Gian Lorenzo Bernini?

Gian Lorenzo Bernini was a famous Italian sculptor, painter and architect born in Naples in 1598. He mastered Roman art during the 17th century and challenged the artistic traditions of the time by focusing on the area of sculpture and architecture where he showed innovative themes with diverse shapes and combinations. He worked on the restoration of several chapels during the Roman Baroque era.  


Considered as the genius of the Italian Baroque, who inherited all the strength that the renowned Michelangelo left as a legacy. Gian Lorenzo Bernini was in charge of making great designs in secular buildings, churches and chapels, combining sculpture and architecture at all times. It stood out enormously during the time of Roman Baroque architecture . His marvelous architectural creativity helped him secure important commissions in Rome and he devoted himself to massively beautifying St. Peter’s Basilica. In addition, Bernini developed as a painter and theater lover, wrote, acted and directed various plays, mainly satires, designed theater sets using a large number of decorative art objects.

  • Biography of Gian Lorenzo Bernini
  • Works by Gian Lorenzo Bernini
  • Paintings by Gian Lorenzo Bernini
  • Sculptures

Biography of Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Gian Lorenzo Bernini was born in the city of Naples in 1598. Son of the famous sculptor Pietro Bernini and Angelica Galante, he was always described as a genius during his childhood, and recognized as a child prodigy at the young age of 8 years. He was known as “the Michelangelo of his century” due to the great talent he displayed. His father took him to Rome to see his work and from that moment he did not leave the place. It was in this place, during the seventeenth century, that Bernini created his best works. He made his stone statues with incredible speed, without the need for many calculations. Its design based on the special surface, reflected the existing ties between the skin, muscles and bones of the human body, making the stone appear human.

Works by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, biography, works, sculptures, paintingsThe first works that Bernini made showed his enormous talent from the beginning. During the first phase, he showed great interest and great respect for the Hellenistic type of art . Among them we can mention the dragon and the Faun surrounded by cupids. The Amalthea Goat and the busts of Santoni and Giovani Vigevano, works made for churches that are still of incomparable beauty. Between the years of 1621 and 1625, Gian Lorenzo Bernini made four of his main works, which would give him the name of master of sculpture and would launch him to fame immediately. We are talking about the four Borghesians . These groups were sculptures that were based on merely mythological and biblical themes., and that they had been commissioned by Cardinal Borghese. These works were Aeneas , Anchises and Ascanio, the famous Rape of Proserpina, David, Apollo and Daphne.

Outstanding works:

  • Barberini Palace
  • Triton Fountain
  • David
  • Apollo and Daphne
  • Chair of Saint Peter
  • Baldachin of Saint Peter
  • Church of San Andrés del Quirinal

Paintings by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Among the main paintings in which Gian Lorenzo Bernini developed were the portraits . Throughout his career as an artist, he made several portraits for high-ranking church officials, such as popes, kings, and nobles, who, in turn, gave him great wealth. It was also common to see him embody the heroic on canvas, emphasizing expression and magnificence at all times.


St. Peter's Square by Gian Lorenzo BerniniAt the beginning of his work, Bernini showed great respect for the classical canons influenced by his father. His works of art full of virtuosity and naturalness with chiaroscuro effect . Among his most important works we can mention the colonnade of San Pedro , a small church in which architecture and sculpture were created to achieve a suitable environment to develop religious feelings. He collaborated with the urban renewal of the city of Rome by contributing a large number of statues and monumental fountains that, today, are still the subject of positive comments regarding his art. One of his best contributions to St. Peter’s Basilica was the creation of the colonnadethat surrounds the square before reaching the temple, with its harmony, simplicity and the large number of scenographic effects it has, represented a huge innovation, both in the dimensions it presents and in its arrangement, which was made in an elliptical way . With monumental statues located at the top, they provide majesty to the environment.

Its reputation diminished a bit during the Neoclassical era as this trend was in charge of dulling the baroque. During the 19th century, Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s achievements were again highly annealed and his reputation was greatly elevated again.

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