Art comes to life

In the land of art, I knew I would see many paintings and sculptures, and I knew they would all be great in their own way even if I did not like them personally. This was not the case with the sculptures of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Though he was born a sculptor, he was also an architect and a painter, though there are very few of his paintings in existence. When I first saw his sculptures, I was astonished. I had heard before that he was a great artists who made art really come to life, but I never expected his works of art to be so realistic.

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Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s “The Rape of Prosperpina,” 1621-22 (credit: Esteban Martinez)

Bernini’s sculpture titled “The Rape of Proserpina” shows the exact moment of the story of when the Roman god Pluto attempted to kidnap Proserpina in order to rape her.

The marble sculpture has so much detail that one cannot help but feel the emotions of the scene. The details are so pure that you can even see tear drops coming down Proserpina’s face from the right side. It came to great surprise to see just how accurate and precise every single inch of the sculpture was. Everyone in the class felt badly for the girl depicted by the sculpture, but at the same time could not help but appreciate the grand work of art.

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David the moment before he throws the stone that defeats Goliath in Bernini’s sculpture “David,” 1623 (credit: Esteban Martinez)

Another great work by Bernini is his sculpture “David,” where David is pictured much differently than Michelangelo’s David in Florence. Bernini’s David is much smaller and is actually life-size. It shows David in an active pose rather than in a pensive state like Michelangelo’s David. This pose makes the audience feel as if they are there in the famous Bible story as a spectator on the side. Another difference between the Davids is that Bernini’s David is made from a different type of marble because it was made to be indoors, while Michelangelo’s David was created to be outside in a courtyard but was later placed inside for to preserve it.

Besides the incredible detail in these two great works of art, what surprises me most is that Bernini was only in his early to mid-20s when he created them! That’s about the same age as most undergrads. Makes you wonder what you are doing with your life.

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