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Features

December 2012

Bernini's feats of clay

by Eric Gibson

On “Bernini: Sculpting in Clay,” at the Met.


Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Model for the Lion on the Four Rivers Fountain (Ca. 1649–50), Accademia Nazionale di San Luca, Rome Photo by Zeno Colantoni, Rome; image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

For admirers of Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598–1680), or even of sculpture generally, the collection of fifteen of his terracotta sketches in the Fogg Art Museum has long been a pilgrimage point to glean a deeper insight into his genius, or simply a straightforward Bernini fix. If the essence of his marbles is their jaw-dropping illusionism—their ability to simulate wind-blown hair, soft flesh, even tears—what distinguishes these preparatory works is their imm ...

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Eric Gibson is the Leisure & Arts Features Editor of The Wall Street Journal.


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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 31 December 2012, on page 36

Copyright © 2014 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com

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