To visualize life-size and colossal sculptures in marble and bronze, the great Baroque sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini began by rapidly modeling small sketches in clay. Fired as terracotta, these studies are bold, expressive works in their own right. Together with related drawings, they preserve the first traces of Bernini’s fervid imagination and unique creative process that produced some of the most spectacular statuary in Rome, including the fountains in the Piazza Navona and the angels on the Ponte Sant’Angelo. This exhibition will feature for the first time approximately forty of these terracotta sketch models, shown together with thirty drawings. Due to unprecedented loans especially granted for this occasion, the exhibition will be the first to retrace Bernini’s unparalleled approach to sculptural design and his impact on the fabric of Baroque Rome.

Bernini: Sculpting in Clay

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