Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Knieender Engel, 1673/74

Giovan Lorenzo Bernini, Selbstbildnis, 1665-1667, Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II


Inventor of the Baroque Rome

The Bernini Exhibition. Inventor of Baroque Rome presents the topical breadth of Bernini’s oeuvre for the first time via the medium of drawings, demonstrating the lasting influence that the artist had on Rome. The Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts owns over 200 drawings by Bernini and his studio, permitting one-of-a-kind insight into the origins and emergence of his artwork. The exhibition additionally features loans from the Roman and Vatican collections and from the Albertina in Vienna, among others. This traces Bernini’s creative process, from the initial idea to its final definition. The ingenuity with which Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598–1680) and his ecclesiastical and secular clients merged piety and claim to power with art and architecture is largely unparalleled to the present day. Active under six popes, Bernini became a living legend as a sculptor, architect, painter, author, theatre director and as an extremely gifted draughtsman. His longstanding contribution as innovator and designer of Baroque Rome was exemplary for the development of Baroque art throughout Europe. Bernini’s most lauded works include St. Peter’s Square, the high altar ciborium in St. Peter’s Basilica and the Piazza Navona with the Fountain of the Four Rivers. For all of these works the Leipzig Exhibition shows the defining ideas, sketches and preparatory work.