ecstasy of st.theresa

Ecstasy of st.theresa
St John the Baptist (1615) Sant’Andrea della Valle, Rome
Pluto and Proserpina (1621-2) Galleria Borghese, Rome
Aeneas and Anchises (1618-19) Galleria Borghese
Apollo and Daphne (1622-5) Galleria Borghese
David (1623-4) Galleria Borghese
S. Bibiana at her Martyrdom (1623-4) Church of S. Bibiana, Rome
The Baldacchino (1624-33) St Peter’s, Rome
St Longinus (1631-38) St Peter’s
Monument to Urban VIII (1627-47) St Peter’s
Habakkuk and the Angel (1655-61) Santa Maria del Popolo, Rome
This sculptural group portrays Teresa’s experience of religious ecstasy, as described in her autobiography, when an angel appeared before her with a golden spear: “He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and. to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it. The soul is satisfied now with nothing less than God.” [Note that Teresa expresses her intense desire for God in the language of erotic passion, an approach which is part of the long tradition of what is called “bridal mysticism”.]

Ecstasy of st.theresa
The two central sculptural figures of the swooning nun and the angel with the spear derive from an episode described by Teresa of Avila, a mystical cloistered Discalced Carmelite reformer and nun, in her autobiography, The Life of Teresa of Jesus (1515–1582). Her experience of religious ecstasy in her encounter with the angel is described as follows:

I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron’s point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it. The soul is satisfied now with nothing less than God. The pain is not bodily, but spiritual; though the body has its share in it. It is a caressing of love so sweet which now takes place between the soul and God, that I pray God of His goodness to make him experience it who may think that I am lying. [3]

The band released the EP Pigment in 1991. This album, along with 1992’s Susurrate, featured a feedback-drenched psychedelic rock sound. [ citation needed ]
The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa was a Czech alternative rock band, formed in 1990 by Jan Muchow, Jan Gregar, Petr Wegner and Irna Libowitz. [1] Early shoegaze influences included Siouxsie and the Banshees, Cocteau Twins, and My Bloody Valentine.

Ecstasy of st.theresa
When we walk toward the chapel (figure 2) we see that on either side of us, on the side walls, there are what look like theater boxes. In these boxes, seated figures in appear to be talking and gesturing to each other. Perhaps they are kneeling in prayer as they watch and discuss the scene of the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa.
This is her description of the event that Bernini depicts:

Ecstasy of st.theresa
Upon entering the convent aged 19, Theresa became seriously ill (she has now become a patron saint for the infirm), possibly depressed and subjecting her body to self-mutilation.
Gian Lorenzo Bernini

References:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecstasy_of_Saint_Teresa
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ecstasy_of_Saint_Theresa_(band)
http://courses.lumenlearning.com/zeliart102/chapter/berninis-ecstasy-of-st-teresa/
http://www.artble.com/artists/gian_lorenzo_bernini/sculpture/the_ecstasy_of_saint_theresa
http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/sculpture/ecstasy-of-saint-teresa.htm

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