Bust of Costanza Bonarelli

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The Bust of Costanza Bonarelli is a marble portrait sculpture by the Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini, created in the 1630s.<ref name="wittkower">Wittkower, Rudolf. Bernini, the Sculptor of the Roman Baroque. Fourth Edition, 1997, p. 256.</ref> It is housed in the Bargello Museum in Florence, Italy.<ref name="guardian">Template:Cite news</ref> Considered among the most personal of Bernini's work, the bust depicts Costanza Piccolomini Bonarelli, the wife of Matteo Bonarelli, one of Bernini's pupils and coworkers. Bernini fell passionately in love with her. It is an exceptional sculpture in that it breaks with the tradition of seventeenth century portrait sculpturing and previews the style of the next century.<ref name="terminartors">Template:Cite web</ref>


The subject of the work is Costanza Bonarelli, with whom he fell in love when her husband was working as Bernini's assistant in 1636. The normally polite Bernini openly insulted the husband, which led Pope Urban VIII to intervene before anyone was killed. He advised Bernini to get married, which he did, in 1639, to Caterina Tezio. Their marriage lasted 34 years and produced 11 children. Bernini would remain professional and increasingly religious to the last, when another Pope blessed him on his deathbed.<ref name="guardian"/>


Bernini's theme in Bust of Costanza Bonarelli is the vitality of power. Bernini's aesthetic is centred on the power of sex, later epitomised in the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa (1647–1652). For Bernini, Costanza is an angel that fills him with ecstasy.<ref name="guardian"/>

Distinguishing features

The Bust of Costanza Bonarelli invites such anachronistic descriptions as impressionist, romantic, and rococo. It has been described as being "light as air". Jonathan Jones wrote: Template:Quote



External links

Template:Gian Lorenzo Bernini