Imágenes de páginas


Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini, who was born at Naples, in 1598, acquired from his Father, who was a Florentine artist, the first elements of his art, and went with him to Rome, with a view to perfect himself. Nature had made him a sculptor, for, at ten years of age, he produced a head in marble, that attracted some notice; at seventeen, he had already ornamented Rome by several specimens, among which may be distinguished the group of Apollo and Daphne. He worked on marble with astonishing quickness.

Gregory XV. created him a Knight of the Order of Christ, and Urban the VIII. confided to him the execution of those works of every description which have immortalized him. Architecture, painting, sculpture, every art experienced the fertility of his genius. He executed in bronze the statue of St. Peter, and the four great niches under the cupola, which he adorned with colossal statues. He embellished the squares of Rome with several fountains, superb palaces, and public buildings, without, however, neglecting the superintendance of the improvements to the great cathedral of St. Peter, which had been committed to his care.

This great artist refused an appointment of 60,000 livres a year, which were offered him by Cardinal Mazarin, if he would settle in France. He erected, by order of Innocent X. the superb fountain in the Piazza Navora; and, by command of Alexander VII. the celebrated co

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