Bernini's Biographies: Critical Essays by Maarten Delbeke

By Maarten Delbeke

Special between early smooth artists, the Baroque painter, sculptor, and architect Gianlorenzo Bernini used to be the topic of 2 monographic biographies released presently after his loss of life in 1680: one by way of the Florentine gourmand and author Filippo Baldinucci (1682), and the moment by means of Bernini's son, Domenico (1713). This interdisciplinary number of essays via historians of artwork and literature marks the 1st sustained exam of the 2 biographies, at first as texts. a considerable introductory essay considers every one biography's writer, genesis, and foundational position within the research of Bernini. 9 essays combining art-historical examine with insights from philology, literary background, and paintings and literary concept supply significant new insights into the multifarious connections among biography, artwork background, and aesthetics, inviting readers to reconsider Bernini's existence, artwork, and milieu.

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It also demonstrated Tuscan linguistic supremacy, earning him admittance, a year later, to the Accademia della Crusca—to whom he dedicated the volume. qxd 11/10/06 7:04 AM Page 28 prolegomena Veri, a twenty-three page pamphlet, issued anonymously, written in the form of a dialogue between Amico (a friend of the author) and Publico (the public), introduced by Sincero Veri (Baldinucci’s surrogate). A witty tract, La Veglia was Baldinucci’s response to criticism of his claims in the Notizie’s “apologia” for Tuscan preeminence in the arts.

167 Before considering the genres that inflect the texts in more minor ways (hagiography and autobiography), it is helpful to recall that in the early modern period, as in antiquity, biography was a subgenre of history. That this was the view of seventeenth-century writers is demonstrated by Agostino Mascardi (1590 –1640), who in his influential Dell’arte historica (1636) includes “lives” among the subgenres of history, and by Francis Bacon (1561–1626), who wrote in his De augmentis scientiarum (1623) that “Perfect history is of three kinds according to the object which it propounds for representation.

While D’Onofrio unearthed material that is essential for the critical approach to the biographies proposed in this volume, he was mainly driven to unmask the truth behind them. The uncovering of Domenico’s “priority” supported D’Onofrio’s exposure and dismantling of Bernini’s truthobscuring “automythography” because it seemed to demonstrate Bernini’s direct involvement in the redaction of the biographies. In other words, D’Onofrio failed to fully appreciate that the biographies were important historical sources despite their factual inaccuracy, conventional nature and Bernini-driven agenda.

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