GIAN LORENZO (Gianlorenzo) BERNINI (1588 - 1680)

Leading architect and sculptor of his age

(not to be confused with Bellini)
Many are of the opinion that Bernini created the Baroque style of sculpture. Some also consider that he is the succesor of Michelangelo.His father Pietro Bernini also was a sculptor and Gian's teacher. Bernini's artistic interest were very broad and included the theater and architecture - he created famous buidings, churches and monuments.  His patrons included the Cardinal Scipione Borghese and the Popes Urban VIII, Innocent X and Alexander VII. Pope Urban VIII once said to him "You are made for Rome and Rome is for you". Bernini particular talent was to depict subjects showing intense emotions. He embelished St. Peter's Basilica with a massive guilded bronze canopy - the Baldacchino. He is the creator of "bel composto" or "unified work of art" combining scupture, architecture, fresco, and stucco. His creations in Rome are too numerous to list here but surely it is most likely that the "Elephant and Obelisk" in front of the Church santa Maria sopra Minerva (near the Pantheon) is among the most memorable.