Pluto and Proserpina

October 10, 2007 / Art & Archaeology
It makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up every time you see it. Be still and look at it, it will draw you in and shut out everything else; you become a statue, transfixed, frozen . . while it comes alive, starts to move, and you can feel the struggle.
Whereas the Rennaissance was all about rediscovering the classics, all about celebrating Platonic ideals (think Michelangelo’s David), the Borghese Gallery statues by Bernini, all done by the artist by the age of 24, are completely baroque, born of the counter-reformation. They refute the concept of a pure ideal, and root themselves in the human condition. They are all action, emotion, movement.

. . . still not convinced ? Look at those fingers.

The Museum of Villa Borghese . . . one of my favorites given its size (small) vs. quality (high) ratio. Remember though, you do need to reserve.


by GB Bernardini

Editor, Italian Notebook

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