Gian Lorenzo Bernini
||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (December 2012)|
|Gian Lorenzo Bernini|
Self-Portrait of Bernini, c. 1623
|Birth name||Gian Lorenzo Bernini|
7 December 1598|
Naples, Kingdom of Naples, in present-day Italy
|Died||28 November 1680
Rome, Papal States, in present-day Italy
|Field||Sculpture, painting, architecture|
|Works||David, Apollo and Daphne, The Rape of Proserpina, Ecstasy of Saint Theresa|
Gian Lorenzo Bernini (also spelled Gianlorenzo or Giovanni Lorenzo) (Naples, 7 December 1598 – Rome, 28 November 1680) was an Italian artist and a prominent architect who worked principally in Rome. He was the leading sculptor of his age, credited with creating the Baroque style of sculpture. In addition, he painted, wrote plays, and designed metalwork and stage sets.
A student of classical sculpture, Bernini possessed the ability to capture, in marble, the essence of a narrative moment with a dramatic naturalistic realism which was almost shocking. This ensured that he effectively became the successor of Michelangelo, far outshining other sculptors of his generation, including his rival, Alessandro Algardi. His talent extended beyond the confines of his sculpture to consideration of the setting in which it would be situated; his ability 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". A deeply religious man, working in Counter Reformation Rome, Bernini used light as an important metaphorical device in the perception of his religious settings, often using hidden light sources that could intensify the focus of religious worship, or enhance the dramatic moment of a sculptural narrative.
Bernini was also a leading figure in the emergence of Roman Baroque architecture along with his contemporaries, the architect, Francesco Borromini and the painter and architect, Pietro da Cortona. Early in their careers they had all worked at the same time at the Palazzo Barberini, initially under Carlo Maderno and on his death, under Bernini. Later on, however, they were in competition for commissions and fierce rivalries developed, particularly between Bernini and Borromini. Despite the arguably greater architectural inventiveness of Borromini and Cortona, Bernini's artistic pre-eminence, particularly during the reigns of popes Urban VIII (1623–1644) and Alexander VII (1655–1665), meant he was able to secure the most important commission in the Rome of his day, St. Peter's Basilica. His design of the Piazza San Pietro in front of the Basilica is one of his most innovative and successful architectural designs.
During his long career, Bernini received numerous important commissions, many of which were associated with the papacy. At an early age, he came to the attention of the papal nephew, Cardinal Scipione Borghese, and in 1621, at the age of only 23, he was knighted by Pope Gregory XV. Following his accession to the papacy, Urban VIII is reported to have said, "Your luck is great to see Cardinal Maffeo Barberini Pope, Cavaliere; but ours is much greater to have Cavalier Bernini alive in our pontificate." Although he did not fare so well during the reign of Innocent X, under Alexander VII, he once again regained pre-eminent artistic domination and continued to be held in high regard by Clement IX.
Bernini and other artists fell from favour in later neoclassical criticism of the Baroque. It is only from the late 19th century that art historical scholarship, in seeking an understanding of artistic output in the cultural context in which it was produced, has come to recognise Bernini's achievements and restore his artistic reputation.
Early life 
Bernini was born in Naples to a Mannerist sculptor, Pietro Bernini, originally from Florence, and Angelica Galante, a Neapolitan, the sixth of their thirteen children. Bernini himself would not marry until May 1639, at age forty-one, when he wed a twenty-two-year-old Roman woman, Caterina Tezio, in an arranged marriage. She bore him eleven children including youngest son Domenico Bernini who became his first biographer. In 1606, at the age of eight he accompanied his father to Rome, where Pietro was involved in several high profile projects. There, as a boy, Gianlorenzo's skill was soon noticed by the painter Annibale Carracci and by Pope Paul V, and he soon gained the important patronage of Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the papal nephew. His first works were inspired by antique Hellenistic sculpture.
Rise to master sculptor 
Under the patronage of the Cardinal Borghese, the young Bernini rapidly rose to prominence as a sculptor. Among the early works for the cardinal were decorative pieces for the garden of the Villa Borghese, such as The Goat Amalthea with the Infant Zeus and a Faun, and several allegorical busts, including the Damned Soul and Blessed Soul. By the time he was 22, he was considered talented enough to have been given a commission for a papal portrait, the Bust of Pope Paul V.
Bernini's reputation was clearly established by four masterpieces, executed between 1619 and 1625, all now displayed in the Galleria Borghese in Rome. To the art historian Rudolf Wittkower these four works—Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius (1619), The Rape of Proserpina (1621–1622), Apollo and Daphne (1622–1625), and David (1623–1624)—"inaugurated a new era in the history of European sculpture". It is a view repeated by other scholars. Adapting the classical grandeur of Renaissance sculpture and the dynamic energy of the Mannerist period, Bernini forged a new conception for religious and historical sculpture.
Unlike those of his predecessors, these sculptures focused on specific points of narrative tension in the stories they are trying to tell—Aeneas and family fleeing Rome; the instant that Pluto grasps Persephone; the moment Apollo sees his beloved Daphne begin her transformation into a tree. They are transitory moments in each story. Bernini's David is the most obvious example of this. Unlike Michelangelo's David—and versions by other Renaissance artists—which shows the subject in his triumph after the battle with Goliath, Bernini illustrates David during his combat with the giant, as he twists his body to catapult towards Goliath. To emphasise these moments, and to ensure these specific moments were appreciated by the viewer, Bernini designed the sculptures with a specific viewpoint in mind. Their original placements within the Villa Borghese were against walls, so that the viewers' first view was the dramatic moment of the narrative.
The result of such an approach is to invest the sculptures with greater psychological energy. The viewer finds it easier to gauge the state of mind of the characters and therefore understands the larger story at work—Daphne's wide open mouth in fear astonishement; David biting his lip in determined concentration, or Prosperina desperately struggling to free herself. As well as psychological realism, they show a greater concern for representing physical details. The tousled hair of Pluto, the pliant flesh of Prosperina, or the forest of leaves beginning to envelop Daphne all demonstrate Bernini's exactitude and delight for representing complex real world textures in marble form.
Mature sculptural output 
Bernini's sculptural output was immense and varied. Among his other well-known sculptures: the Ecstasy of St. Theresa, in the Cornaro Chapel (see Bernini's Cornaro chapel: the complete work of art found in the Baroque section), Santa Maria della Vittoria, and the now-hidden Constantine, at the base of the Scala Regia (which he designed). He was given the commission for the Tomb of Pope Urban VIII in St Peters. He helped design the Ponte Sant'Angelo, sculpting two of the angels, soon replaced by copies by his own hand, while the others were made by his pupils based on his designs.
At the end of April 1665, at the height of his fame and powers he travelled to Paris, where he remained until November; he met Paul Fréart de Chantelou who kept a Journal of Bernini's visit. Bernini's international popularity was such that on his walks in Paris the streets were lined with admiring crowds. This trip, encouraged by Father Oliva, general of the Jesuits, was a response to the repeated requests for his works by King Louis XIV. Here Bernini presented some designs for the east front of the Louvre. which were ultimately rejected. He soon lost favor at the French court as he praised the art and architecture of Italy over that of France; he said that a painting by Guido Reni was worth more than all of Paris. The sole work remaining from his time in Paris is a bust of Louis XIV, which set the standard for royal portraiture for a century.
Bernini's architectural works include sacred and secular buildings and sometimes their urban settings and interiors. He made adjustments to existing buildings and designed new constructions. Amongst his most well known works are the Piazza San Pietro (1656–1667), the piazza and colonnades in front of St. Peter's Basilica and the interior decoration of the Basilica. Amongst his secular works are a number of Roman palaces: following the death of Carlo Maderno, he took over the supervision of the building works at the Palazzo Barberini from 1630 on which he worked with Borromini; the Palazzo Ludovisi (now Palazzo Montecitorio)(started 1650); and the Palazzo Chigi (now Palazzo Chigi-Odescalchi) (started 1664).
His first architectural projects were the façade and refurbishment of the church of Santa Bibiana (1624–1626) and the St. Peter's baldachin (1624–1633), the bronze columned canopy over the high altar of St. Peter's Basilica. In 1629, and before St. Peter's baldachin was complete, Urban VIII put him in charge of all the ongoing architectural works at St Peter's. However, due to political reasons and miscalculations in his design of the bell-towers for St. Peter's, of which only one was completed and then subsequently torn down, Bernini fell out of favor during the Pamphili papacy of Innocent X. Never wholly without patronage, Bernini then regained a major role in the decoration of St. Peter's with the Pope Alexander VII Chigi, leading to his design of the piazza and colonnade in front of St. Peter's. Further significant works by Bernini at the Vatican include the Scala Regia, (1663–6) the monumental grand stairway entrance to the Vatican Palace and the Cathedra Petri, the Chair of Saint Peter, in the apse of St. Peter's.
Bernini did not build many churches from scratch, rather his efforts were concentrated on pre-existing structures, and in particular St. Peter's. He fulfilled three commissions for new churches; his stature allowed him the freedom to design the structure and decorate the interiors in a consistent manner. Best known is the small oval baroque church of Sant'Andrea al Quirinale, a work which Bernini's son, Domenico, reports his father was very pleased with. Bernini also designed churches in Castelgandolfo (San Tommaso da Villanova, 1658–1661) and Ariccia (Santa Maria Assunta, 1662–1664).
When Bernini was invited to Paris in 1665 to prepare works for Louis XIV, he presented designs for the east facade of the Louvre Palace but his projects were ultimately turned down in favour of the more stern and classic proposals of the French doctor and amateur architect Claude Perrault, signalling the waning influence of Italian artistic hegemony in France. Bernini's projects were essentially rooted in the Italian Baroque urbanist tradition of relating public buildings to their settings, often leading to innovative architectural expression in urban spaces like piazze or squares. However, by this time, the French absolutist monarchy now preferred the classicising monumental severity of Perrault's facade, no doubt with the added political bonus that it been designed by a Frenchman. The final version did, however, include Bernini's feature of a flat roof behind a Palladian balustrade.
In 1639, Bernini bought property on the corner of the via Mercede and the via del Collegio di Propaganda Fide in Rome. On this site he built himself a palace, the Palazzo Bernini, at what are now Nos 11 and 12 via della Mercede. He lived at No. 11 but this was extensively changed in the 19th century. It has been noted how very galling it must have been for Bernini to witness through the windows of his dwelling, the construction of the tower and dome of Sant'Andrea delle Fratte by his rival, Borromini, and also the demolition of the chapel that he, Bernini, had designed at the Collegio di Propaganda Fide to see it replaced by Borromini's chapel.
Fountains in Rome 
True to the decorative dynamism of Baroque, among Bernini's most gifted creations were his Roman fountains that were both public works and papal monuments. His fountains include the Fountain of the Triton or Fontana del Tritone and the Barberini Fountain of the Bees, the Fontana delle Api. The Fountain of the Four Rivers or Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi in the Piazza Navona is a masterpiece of spectacle and political allegory. An oft-repeated, but false, anecdote tells that one of the Bernini's river gods defers his gaze in disapproval of the facade of Sant'Agnese in Agone (designed by the talented, but less politically successful, rival Francesco Borromini). However, the fountain was built several years before the façade of the church was completed. Bernini was also the artist of the statue of the Moor in La Fontana del Moro in Piazza Navona (1653).
Marble portraiture 
Bernini also revolutionized marble busts, lending glamorous dynamism and animation to the stony stillness of portraiture. Starting with the immediate pose, leaning out of the frame, of bust of Monsignor Pedro de Foix Montoya at Santa Maria di Monserrato, Rome. The once-gregarious Cardinal Scipione Borghese, in his bust is frozen in conversation.
His most famous portrait is that of Costanza Bonarelli (c. 1637). It does not portray divinity or royalty, but a woman in a moment of disheveled privacy. Bernini had an affair with Costanza, who was the wife of one of Bernini's assistants. When Bernini suspected Costanza to be involved with his brother, he badly beat him and ordered a servant to slash her face with a razor. Pope Urban VIII intervened on his behalf and he was fined.
Bernini also gained royal commissions from outside Italy, for subjects such as Louis XIV, Cardinal Richelieu, Francesco I d'Este, Charles I of England and Henrietta Maria. The last two were produced in Italy from portraits made by Van Dyck (now in the royal collection), though Bernini preferred to produce portraits from life – the bust of Charles was lost in the Whitehall Palace fire of 1698 and that of Henrietta Maria was not undertaken due to the outbreak of the English Civil War.
Other works 
The Elephant and Obelisk, affectionately known as Bernini's Chick by the Roman people, is located in the Piazza della Minerva and in front of the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva. Pope Alexander VII decided that he wanted an ancient Egyptian obelisk to be erected in the piazza and in 1665 he commissioned Bernini to create a sculpture to support the obelisk. The sculpture of an elephant bearing the obelisk on its back was created by one of Bernini's students, Ercole Ferrata and finished in 1667. An inscription on the base aligns the Egyptian goddess Isis and the Roman goddess Minerva with the Virgin Mary who the church is dedicated to. A popular anecdote concerns the elephant's smile. To find out why it is smiling, the viewer must head around to the rear end of the animal and to see that its muscles are tensed and its tail is shifted to the left as if it were defecating. The animal's rear is pointed directly at the office of Father Giuseppe Paglia, a Dominican friar, who was one of the main antagonists of Bernini and his artist friends, as a final salute and last word.
Bernini worked along with Ercole Ferrata to create a much admired fountain for the Lisbon palace of the Portuguese nobleman, the Count of Ericeira. For the same patron he also created a series of paintings with the battles of Louis XIV as subject. These works were lost as the palace, its great library and the rich art collection of the Counts of Ericeira, were destroyed along with most of central Lisbon as a result of the great earthquake of 1755.
The death of his patron Urban VIII in 1644 and the election of the Pamphilj pope, Innocent X, initially marked a downturn in Bernini's career and released a series of opportunities for Bernini's rivals. However, within several years, Innocent reinstated him at St Peter's to work on the extended nave and commissioned the Four Rivers fountain in the Piazza Navona. At the time of Innocent's death in 1655, Bernini was the arbiter of public artistic taste in Rome. His artistic ascendency continued under Alexander VII.
He died in Rome in 1680, and was buried in the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.
Among the many who worked under his supervision were Luigi Bernini, Stefano Speranza, Giuliano Finelli, Andrea Bolgi, Filippo Parodi, Giacomo Antonio Fancelli, Lazzaro Morelli, Francesco Baratta Nicodemus Tessin[disambiguation needed], and Francois Duquesnoy. Among his rivals in architecture were Francesco Borromini and Pietro da Cortona; in sculpture, Alessandro Algardi.
First biographies of Bernini 
The most important primary source for the life of Bernini is the biography written by his youngest son, Domenico, entitled Vita del Cavalier Gio. Lorenzo Bernino, published in 1713, though first compiled in the last years of his father's life (c. 1675–80). Filippo Baldinucci's Life of Bernini, was published in 1682 and a meticulous private journal, the Diary of the Cavaliere Bernini's Visit to France, was kept by the Frenchman Paul Fréart de Chantelou during the artist's four-month stay from June–October 1665 at the court of King Louis XIV. Also there is a short biographical narrative, The Vita Brevis of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, written by his eldest son, Monsignor Pietro Filippo Bernini, in the mid-1670s,
Until the late 20th century, it was generally believed that two years after Bernini's death, Queen Christina of Sweden, then living in Rome, commissioned Filippo Baldinucci to write his biography which was published in Florence in 1682. However, recent research has suggested that it was in fact Bernini's sons (and specifically the eldest son, Mons. Pietro Filippo) who commissioned the biography from Baldinucci sometime in the late 1670s, with the intent of publishing it while their father was still alive. This would imply that firstly, that the commission did not come from Queen Christina who would have merely lent her name as patron and secondly, that Baldinucci's narrative was largely derived from Domenico Bernini's biography of his father, evidenced by the large amount of text repeated verbatim. In sum, Domenico's biography, though published later than Baldinucci's, represents the earlier and more important full-length biographical source of Bernini's life, even though it may idealize a number of facts.
Selected works 
- Bust of Giovanni Battista Santoni (c. 1613–1616) Marble, life-size, Santa Prassede, Rome
- The Goat Amalthea with the Infant Jupiter and a Faun (1615) Marble, Galleria Borghese, Rome
- A Faun Teased by Children (1616–1617) Marble, height 132,1 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
- Martyrdom of St. Lawrence (1617) Marble, 66 x 108 cm, Contini Bonacossi Collection, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
- St. Sebastian (1617–1618) Marble, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid
- Bust of Pope Paul V (1618) Marble, Galleria Borghese, Rome
- Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius (1618–1619) Marble, height 220 cm, Galleria Borghese, Rome
- Bust of Giovanni Vigevano (1618–1631) Marble tomb, Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Rome
- Damned Soul (1619) Palazzo di Spagna, Rome
- Blessed Soul (1619) Palazzo di Spagna, Rome
- Neptune and Triton (1620) Marble, height 182,2 cm, Victoria and Albert Museum, London
- Bust of Monsignor Pedro de Foix Montoya (c. 1621) Marble, life-size, Santa Maria di Monserrato, Rome
- The Rape of Proserpina (1621–1622) Marble, height 295 cm, Galleria Borghese, Rome
- Bust of Antonio Cepparelli (1622) Marble, Museo di San Giovanni dei Fiorentini, Rome
- Apollo and Daphne (1622–1625) Marble, height 243 cm, Galleria Borghese, Rome
- David (1623–1624) Marble, height 170 cm, Galleria Borghese, Rome
- St. Peter's Baldachin (1624) Bronze, partly gilt, Basilica di San Pietro, Vatican City
- Fontana del Tritone (1624–1643) Travertine, over life-size, Piazza Barberini, Rome
- Charity with Four Children (1627–1628) Terracotta, height 39 cm, Museo Sacro, Musei Vaticani, Vatican
- Fontana della Barcaccia (1627–1628) Marble, Piazza di Spagna, Rome
- Tomb of Pope Urban VIII (1627–1647) Golden bronze and marble, figures larger than life-size, Basilica di San Pietro, Vatican City
- Saint Longinus (1631–1638) Marble, height 450 cm, Basilica di San Pietro, Vatican City
- Two Busts of Scipione Borghese (1632) Marble, height 78 cm, Galleria Borghese, Rome
- Bust of Pope Urban VIII (1632–1633) Bronze, height 100 cm, Museo Sacro, Musei Vaticani, Vatican City
- Charity with Two Children (1634) Terracotta, height 41.6 cm, Museo Sacro, Musei Vaticani, Vatican City
- Bust of Costanza Bonarelli (c. 1635) Marble, height 70 cm, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence
- Bust of Thomas Baker (1638) Marble, height 81,6 cm, Victoria and Albert Museum, London
- Bust of Cardinal Armand de Richelieu (1640–1641) Marble, Musée du Louvre, Paris
- Truth (1645–1652) Marble, height 280 cm, Galleria Borghese, Rome
- Ecstasy of St. Theresa (1647–1652) Marble, Cappella Cornaro, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome
- Loggia of the Founders (1647–1652) Marble, Cappella Cornaro, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome
- Memorial to Maria Raggi (1647–1653) Gilt bronze and coloured marble, Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Rome
- Bust of Urban VIII Marble, Basilica di San Pietro, Vatican City
- Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (1648–1651) Travertine and marble, Piazza Navona, Rome
- Bust of Pope Innocent X (c. 1650) Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, Rome
- Corpus (1650) Bronze, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada.
- Daniel and the Lion (1650) Marble, Santa Maria del Popolo, Rome
- Francesco I d'Este (1650–1651) Marble, height 107 cm, Galleria Estense, Modena
- Fountain of the Moor (1653–1654) Marble, Piazza Navona, Rome
- The Vision of Constantine (1654–1670) Marble, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican City
- Daniel and the Lion (1655) Terracotta, height 41.6 cm, Museo Sacro, Musei Vaticani, Vatican City
- Habakkuk and the Angel (1655) Terracotta, height 52 cm, Museo Sacro, Musei Vaticani, Vatican City
- Altar Cross (1657–1661) Gilt bronze corpus on bronze cross, height: corpus 43 cm, cross 185 cm, Treasury of San Pietro, Vatican City
- Chair of Saint Peter (1657–1666) Marble, bronze, white and golden stucco, Basilica di San Pietro, Rome
- Statue of Saint Augustine (1657–1666) Bronze, Basilica di San Pietro, Vatican City
- Saint Jerome (1661–1663) Marble, height 180 cm, Cappella Chigi, Duomo, Siena
- Constantine, Scala Regia (1663–1670) Marble with painted stucco drapery, Scala Regia, Vatican Palace, Rome
- Bust of Louis XIV (1665) White marble, height 105 cm, salon de Diane, Musée National de Versailles, Versailles
- Elephant and Obelisk (erected 1667) Marble, Piazza di Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Rome
- Standing Angel with Scroll (1667–1668) Clay, terracotta, height: 29,2 cm, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge
- Angel with the Crown of Thorns (1667–1669) Marble, over life-size, Sant'Andrea delle Fratte, Rome
- Angel with the Superscription (1667–1669) Marble, over life-size, Sant'Andrea delle Fratte, Rome
- Bust of Gabriele Fonseca (1668–1675) Marble, over life-size, San Lorenzo in Lucina, Rome
- Equestrian Statue of King Louis XIV (1669–1670) Terracotta, height 76 cm, Galleria Borghese, Rome
- Herm of St. Stephen, King of Hungary Bronze, Cathedral of Zagreb Treasury, Zagreb
- Blessed Ludovica Albertoni (1671–1674) Marble, Cappella Altieri-Albertoni, San Francesco a Ripa, Rome
- Tomb of Pope Alexander VII (1671–1678) Marble and gilded bronze, over life-size, Basilica di San Pietro, Vatican City
Bernini's activity as a painter was a sideline which he did mainly in his youth. Despite this his work reveals a sure and brilliant hand, free from any trace of pedantry. He studied in Rome under his father, Pietro, and soon proved a precocious infant prodigy. His work was immediately sought after by major collectors.
- Self-Portrait as a Young Man (c. 1623) Oil on canvas, Galleria Borghese, Rome
- Saint Andrew and Saint Thomas (c. 1627) Oil on canvas, 59 x 76 cm, National Gallery, London
- Self-Portrait as a Mature Man (1630–1635) Oil on canvas, Galleria Borghese, Rome
- Portrait of a Boy (c. 1638) Oil on canvas, Galleria Borghese, Rome
- "Gian Lorenzo Bernini". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- Boucher, Bruce (1998). Italian Baroque Sculpture. Thames & Hudson (World of Art). pp. 134–42. ISBN 0500203075.
- Lavin, Irving (1980). Bernini and the Unity of the Visual Arts. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Hibbard, Howard (1965). Bernini. New York: Penguin. p. 136.
- Mileti, Nick J. (2005). Beyond Michelangelo: The deadly rivalry between Bernini and Borromini. Philadelphia: Xlibris Corporation.
- Morrissey, Jake (2005). Genius in the Design: Bernini, Borromini and the rivalry that transformed Rome. New York: Harper Perennial.
- Hibbard, Howard (1965). p. 68. Missing or empty
- Gale, Thomson. Gian Lorenzo Bernini Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2004. For list of Bernini's siblings, see Franco Mormando, Bernini: His Life and His Rome (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011), pp. 2–3.
- For Bernini's marriage to Caterina, and a list of Bernini's children, see Franco Mormando, Bernini: His Life and His Rome (University of Chicago Press, 2011, pp. 109–116.
- Gianlorenzo Bernini
- Wittkower, p. 14.
- Hibbard, p. 14. Although Hibbard, as well as other scholars, are more reticinent about the overall quality of the earliest of these sculptures, of Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius.
- Wittkower, p. 15.
- Hibbard, pp. 53-54.
- Wittkower, pp. 14-15.
- Hibbard, pp. 48-61.
- See Gould, Cecil. Bernini in France, an episode in Seventeenth Century History, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1981
- See Marder, Tod A. Bernini and the Art of Architecture Abbeville Press, New York and London, 1998
- See McPhee, Sarah. Bernini and the bell towers: architecture and politics at the Vatican, Yale University Press, 2002
- Magnuson Torgil, Rome in the Age of Bernini, Volume II, Almqvist & Wiksell, Stockholm, 1986: 202
- Probably made in collaboration with Lebrun and Le Vau, Blunt, Anthony. Architecture in France 1500–1700, Pelican History of Art, 1953, p. 232
- Blunt, Anthony. Guide to Baroque Rome, Granada, 1982, p. 166
- This was dismantled in the nineteenth century and reassembled (incorrectly) in the twentieth in the Via Veneto. A second Fontana delle Api in the Vatican has sometimes been attributed to Bernini of which Blunt has written, "Borromini is documented as having carved the fountain in 1626, but it is not certain whether he made the design for it, and it has also been attributed—not very plausibly—to Bernini." Blunt, Anthony. Borromini, Belknap Harvard, 1979, 17
- "Biographies – Gian Lorenzo Bernini", National Gallery of Canada, retrieved 29 October 2009
- Triple Portrait of Charles I
- Lionel Cust (31 March 2007). Van Dyck. Wellhausen Press. p. 94. ISBN 978-1-4067-7452-8. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
- Heckscher, W. Bernini's Elephant and Obelisk, Art Bulletin, XXIX, 1947, p. 155.
- This anecdote regarding the Elephant and Obelisk monument (more formally, it is a monument to Divine Wisdom) is one of the many undocumented popular legends circulating about Bernini. In truth of fact, Fr. Giuseppe Paglia was director of the overall project to reconstruct the piazza in front of Santa Maria Minerva, appointed by Pope Alexander VII and, as such, had supervisory authority over Bernini and the design of his Elephant and Obelisk monument. The final design of that monument in fact owes much to Paglia's direct intervention. Hence, it is unlikely that Paglia would have allowed this supposed insult to him or his Dominican order: see Franco Mormando, ed. and trans., Domenico Bernini's Life of Gian Lorenzo Bernini (University Park: Penn State University Press, 2011), p. 369, n. 33.
- For a list and discussion of important sources for Bernini's life, see Franco Mormando, Bernini: His Life and His Rome (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011), pp. 7–11.
- For a translation of The Vita Brevis, see Domenico Bernini's Life of Gian Lorenzo Bernini in Mormando, ed., 201 Appendix 1, pp. 237–41.
- Baldinucci, Filippo, Life of Bernini. Translated from the Italian by Enggass, C. University Park, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006
- See Mormando, Domenico Bernini's Life of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 2011, pp. 14–34. Christina's extant financial records nowhere report the queen's having monetarily subsidized the publication Baldinucci's biography, which would have been her responsibility as patron.
Further reading 
- Avery, Charles (1997). Bernini: Genius of the Baroque. London: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0500092710.
- Bacchi, Andrea, ed. (2009). I marmi vivi: Bernini e la nascita del ritratto barocco. Firenze: Firenze musei. ISBN 978-8809742369.
- Bacchi, Andrea, and Catherine Hess, Jennifer Montagu, ed. (2008). Bernini and the Birth of Baroque Portrait Sculpture. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum. ISBN 978-0892369324.
- Baldinucci, Filippo (1966). The Life of Bernini. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press. ISBN 978-0271730769. Unknown parameter
- Baldinucci, Filippo (1682). Vita del cavaliere Gio. Lorenzo Bernino. Firenze: Stamperia di V. Vangelisti. Copy at Google Books.
- Bernini, Domenico (1713). Vita del Cavalier Gio. Lorenzo Bernino. Rome: Rocco Bernabò. Copy at Google Books.
- Bernini, Domenico (2011, orig. publ. 1713). In Franco Mormando. The Life of Giano Lorenzo Bernini. University Park: Penn State University Press. ISBN 9780271037486.
- Borsi, Franco (2005). Bernini. Milano: Rizzoli. ISBN 978-0847805099.
- Chantelou, Paul Fréart de (1985). In Anthony Blunt. Journal du voyage en France du cavalier Bernin. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0833705310.
- Delbeke, Maarten, and Evonne Levy, Steven F. Ostrow, ed. (2006). Bernini's biographies: critical essays. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press.
- Fagiolo Dell'Arco, Maurizio (1967). Bernini: una introduzione al gran teatro del barocco. Roma: M. Bulzoni.
- Ferrari, Oreste (1991). Bernini. Firenze: Giunti Gruppo. ISBN 978-8809761537.
- Fraschetti, Stanislao (1900). Il Bernini: La sua vita, la sua opera, il suo tempo. Milano: U.Hoepli. ISBN 978-1248328897.
- Gould, Cecil (1981). Bernini in France: An Episode in Seventeenth Century History. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. ISBN 978-0297779445.
- Lavin, Irving (1980). Bernini and the Unity of the Visual Arts. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195201840.
- Lavin, Irving, ed. (1985). Gianlorenzo Bernini: New Aspects of his Art and Thought. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press. ISBN 978-0271003870.
- Lavin, Irving (2007). Visible Spirit: The Art of Gianlorenzo Bernini. London: Pindar Press. ISBN 978-1899828395.
- Martinelli, Valentino, ed. (1996). L'ultimo Bernini (1665–1680): nuovi argomenti, documenti e immagini. Roma: Quasar. ISBN 978-8871400952.
- Mormando, Franco (2011). Bernini: His Life and His Rome. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226538525.
- Petersson, Robert T. (1970). The Art of Ecstasy: Teresa, Bernini, and Crashaw. London: Routledge & K. Paul. ISBN 978-0689705151.
- Petersson, Robert T. (2002). Bernini and the Excesses of Art. Florence: Maschietto editore. ISBN 978-8887700831.
- Pinton, Daniel (2009). Bernini. I Percorsi Nell'arte. Ediz. Inglese. ATS Italia Editrice. ISBN 978-8875717773.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Gianlorenzo Bernini|
- Checklist of Bernini's architecture and sculpture in Rome
- Excerpts from The life of the Cavaliers Bernini
- Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the "A World History of Art"
- Extract on Bernini from Simon Schama's The Power of Art
- Photographs of Bernini's Santa Maria Assunta
- smARThistory: Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, Cornaro Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome
- Virtual tour of Rome visiting Bernini's key works
- Constantly updated list and discussion of the most recent archival discoveries regarding Bernini's biography and works