b. 1598 - d.1680
videos + essays
Did Peter sit here? Dizzying but unified, light and gold glorify this sacred place.
Gian Lorenzo Bernini was only 23 years old when he was commissioned to carve a bust of Pope Paul V. Learn more about this piece with Timothy Potts from the J. Paul Getty Museum.
Painted and sculpted bodies move into our space. Everything feels like it’s in motion, including the light.
Pluto hoists up Proserpina. She resists, pushing him away. Their desires clash, creating a dynamic composition.
She’s a monster, but in this poignant marble bust, Medusa becomes a victim of her own plight.
Central to the Counter Reformation, Bernini’s double colonnades activate St. Peter’s and reach out into the city.
Skin transforms into bark, limbs sprout branches, and stone softens into flesh. What a perfect subject for Bernini.
The greatest minds of the High Renaissance worked on this vast church. Construction took more than a century.
The giant doorway to this church disguises how small it is. Inside, a lantern leads the eye up and up. Pure theatre!
Gasp! Stone floats and light pours down from—where, exactly? Bernini creates a theatre for spiritual experience.
Over 60 feet tall, this daunting bronze canopy is part architecture, part sculpture—and part beehive.
Duck! This slingshot may never fire, but Bernini fools us. We can feel David gathering strength to battle Goliath.