psychological development gian lorenzo bernini view of chapel and ecstasy of st. teresa 1623-1624
One of the greatest sculptures from the era of Baroque art, the marble ensemble known as The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa (L’Estasi di Santa Teresa), located in the Cornaro Chapel of the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria, was carved by Bernini (1598-1680), one of the leading Baroque sculptors of the Roman school. A deliberately intense work of Christian art, it is regarded as one of the most important examples of the Counter-Reformation style of Baroque sculpture, designed to convey spiritual aspects of the Catholic faith. The work depicts an episode of “religious ecstasy” in the life of the cloistered Spanish mystic and Carmelite nun – Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) – as described in her autobiography “The Life of Teresa of Jesus”. Despite its status as a key work of religious art, critics of the work are divided as to whether Teresa is experiencing an intense state of divine joy, or a physical orgasm. Indeed some devout contemporary observers expressed outrage that Bernini would debase such a holy experience by depicting it in a sexual way. However, Professor Robert Harbison, in his book Reflections on Baroque (2000, University of Chicago Press), has poured doubt on the notion that Bernini, a follower of St. Ignatius of Loyola, intended any such thing. Instead, he believes that Bernini used the erotic character of the experience as a springboard to a new and higher type of spiritual awakening. The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa is a key work in establishing Bernini as one of the greatest sculptors in the history of art.
To represent the true intensity of Teresa’s experience, Bernini shows her swooning in near-erotic rapture, with eyes closed and mouth open, and both her visible limbs hanging limp. The ruffled, heavy drapery of her clothing adds to the movement and drama of the scene, and the texture of the fabric contrasts with the purity of her face. The childlike angel looks lovingly at Teresa as he prepares to pierce her heart with his spear of divine love, completing her mystical union with God.
Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini was born on December 7, 1598, in Naples, in the Kingdom of Naples (Italy).
Gian Lorenzo Bernini, (born December 7, 1598, Naples, Kingdom of Naples [Italy]—died November 28, 1680, Rome, Papal States), Italian artist who was perhaps the greatest sculptor of the 17th century and an outstanding architect as well. Bernini created the Baroque style of sculpture and developed it to such an extent that other artists are of only minor importance in a discussion of that style.
Rape of Proserpina (1621–1622) by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Borghese Gallery)
The most dramatic theater for Baroque sculpture in Germany was church architecture. Particularly complex retables and high altars. crowded with statues and rising almost the ceilings, were created by Hans Riechle, Jorg Zurn, Hans Degler, and other artists. The Michael Zürn family produced several generations of very productive sculptors, making figures of polychrome or gilded wood and stucco. Other artists producing remarkable retables included Thomas Schwanthaler. 
Major works: Rape of Proserpina (1621-1622); David (1623-1624); Apollo and Daphne (1622-1625); Tomb of St. Peter (1624); Triton Fountain (1624-1643) – Piazza Barberini, Rome; Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria (1645-52); Ecstasy of Saint Theresa (1647-1652); Fountain of the Four Rivers (1648-1651); Piazza before St. Peter’s (1656-1663); Beata Ludovica Albertoni (1671-1674).
Social and professional position: Italian sculptor, architect, painter, scene and machine designer.
The main contribution to (what is known): He was the leading figure in the emergence of Roman Baroque architecturere, outstanding painter and sculpto, who created the Baroque style of sculpture. The author of the the famous “Ecstasy of Saint Theresa“.
Contributions: Bernini was an great Italian sculptor, architect, artist, scene and machine designer. He was also a leading figure in the emergence of Roman and Italian Baroque.
He created the Baroque style of architecture and sculpture and developed it to perfection.
He was more celebrated as an prominent architect and a sculptor than as a painter. However, his paintings and in particular his Self-portrait (1665) an example of his superb draftsmanship. In addition he wrote plays, and designed metalwork and stage sets and was a director of theatrical extravaganzas.
At 16 years old, he created the sculpture “The Martyrdom of St. Lawrence. When Cardinal Skopion Borghese saw this sculpture he decided to make Giovanni his personal sculptor.
Many of his early sculptures, such as the Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius (1619), Rape of Proserpine (1622), David (1623-24) and Apollo and Daphne (1625), were done for Scipione Cardinal Borghese, one of the most important patrons of the period. These are all in the Borghese Gallery, Rome.
His first architectural work was the remodeled Church of Santa Bibiana in Rome. At the same time, Bernini was commissioned to build a symbolic structure over the tomb of St Peter in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
His Creative style:
1. Syntheses. In his masterpieces he was able to synthesise sculpture, painting and architecture into a coherent conceptual and visual whole has been termed by the art historian, Irving Lavin, the ‘unity of the visual arts’.
2. Affectedness, theatricality. Bernini possessed captured, in marble, the essence of a nature
with a dramatic naturalistic realism which was almost shocking. mystical combination of religious affectation, with marked sensitivity. He managed to achieve a mystical combination of religious affectation, with marked sensitivity For this purpose he used the such artifices as elongation of the body, expressive gesture, and simplified yet emphatic emotional expression.
3. The dynamism, flexibility and vitality. Bernini transformed the marble block into a vital, almost breathing figure. He managed to make his favorite material, marble, supple,” like wax “and reached the illusion of mobility of plastic forms.
4. Using of the special techniques. Bernini used light as an important metaphorical device and used such artifice as concealed lighting, often it was hidden light source. He also used theatrical techniques of false perspective and optical devices to emphasize the illusion of great length and size.
Bernini died at the age of 81, after having served eight popes, and when he died he was widely considered not only Europe’s greatest artist but also one of its greatest men.
Bernini created some of the innovative stage sets in the theatre built by the Barberini family, which exhibited: floods, storms, chariots flying through the air, houses falling in ruins, the sudden appearance of temples, forests, and populous city streets.
He is known for his sarcastic cartoons graphics on his contemporaries and became the founder of the genre cartoons.
He was the last of Italy’s remarkable series of universal geniuses, and the Baroque style he helped create was the last Italian style to become an international standard.
Bernini was known as a wit; he wrote comedies and made numerous caricatures. He produced several plays, all of which contained effective illusions.
All of his important work is in Rome, with the exception of the Neptune and Triton (Victoria and Albert Mus., London) and the bust of Louis XIV (Versailles).
4 corners=4 corners of the world
, Galleria Nazionale dell’Arte Antica, Rome, Italy. Baroque