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Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Italian, 1598-1680)


Also known as:  Bernin, Gianlorenzo; Bernini, Dzhovanni Lorentso; Bernini, Gian; Bernini, Gianlorenzo; Bernini, Giovanni Lorenzo; Bernini, Giovanni Lorenzo, Cavaliere; Bernini, Giovanni-Lorenzo; Bernini, Lorentso; Bernini, Lorenzo; Cavaliere Gian Lorenzo Bernino; Cavaliere Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini; Cavr. Gian Lorenzo Bernino; Chevalier Gian Lorenzo Bernini; Gianlorenzo Bernini; Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini; Jean Laurent Bernin; Le Bernin

Birth Place: Naples (Napoli province, Campania, Italy)

An Italian artist and architect, Gian Lorenzo Bernini was born in Naples on December 7th, 1598. He is considered the father of Baroque sculpting. In addition, he was a painter and a playwright. He also designed the stage sets for many of his plays.

Bernini was born to Pietro Bernini, a Mannerist sculptor, and Angelica Galante. He traveled with his father to Rome when he was only 8 years old. There his abilities were noticed by Annibale Carracci and Pope Paul V. He was given patronage by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, whom he worked for throughout his childhood. He married in May 1639, when he was 41 years old. His bride was 22 year old Caterina Tezio from Rome. The marriage was arranged, and together they had 11 children.

Some of his early works include The Goat Amalthea with the Infant Jupiter and a Faun, Damned Soul, and Blessed Soul. Later he became known for works such as the Bust of Louis XIV, Bust of Cardinal Armand de Richelieu, and Apollo and Daphne. His reputation was cemented by four works completed within 6 years of each other: Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius; The Rape of Proserpina; Apollo and Daphne; and David.

A skilled architect, he designed St Peter's Baldachino, a work costing $8 million according to modern day currency. He created several fountains including the Fountain of the Triton and the Barberini Fountain of the Bees.

Bernini died in Rome in 1680, where he was buried at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.

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