Gian Lorenzo Bernini, architect, sculptor, painter and even scriptwriter, was the true protagonist of Baroque Rome.
He was born in Naples in 1598 and it was here that he moved his first steps as an artist, following his father Pietro, a late-mannerist sculptor. It was in Rome though, thanks to his contacts with Popes and cardinals, where his talent eventually exploded.
His good relationships with men from the clergy from the Borghese and Barberini families allowed him to show his skills as an all-round artist. When Innocenzo III from the Doria-Pamphilij family became Pope Bernini faced a rough patch. The new Pope wanted to severe the ties with the artistic direction of the previous pope coming from a rival family and preferred other artists over Bernini, more specifically his long-time rival Borromini.
Bernini did not give up anyway and thanks to a clever trick managed to get the appointment for the works of the famous four rivers fountain in piazza Navona, entrusted to Borromini at first. His star shone again thanks to this wonder that challenged the sculptural and architectural canons of the time.
Bernini’s works in Rome are all over the place, you can see some of them in museums, other ones are casually scattered around the city and you have to get lost through the city alleys and square to find them.
It is possible to admire his sculptures and paintings in Galleria Borghese such as: La Capra Amaltea between young Jupiter and a little faun; Paolo V’s bust; Enea and Anchise; Plutone and Proserpina; David; Apollo and Dafne; Cardinale Scipione Borghese’s bust. Also the paintings “Autoritratto” e “Ritratto di ragazzo”.
Bernini built some of the most beautiful fountains in Rome: the four Rivers fountain and the Moor fountain in piazza Navona. The Triton fountain and the Bees fountain in piazza Barberini.
There are some places you cannot miss in a Rome tour dedicated to Bernini’s works.
First of all, San Pietro square, inside the church there is the famous San Pietro’s Baldacchino and the Cattedra, Urbano VIII’s grave, Alessandro VII’s altar and the Altare del Santissimo Sacramento. There are also the Chiesa di Sant’Andrea al Quirinale, Palazzo Montecitorio, Palazzo Chigi-Odescalchi, Palazzo Barberini, la Scala Regia in Vaticano e San Tommaso da Villanova.
Fragrance Tour offers several activities that will guide you through Master Bernini’s life and woks: