Bernini and the Roman Baroque brings rarely seen masterpieces to St. Pete

Bernini and the Roman Baroque brings rarely seen masterpieces to St. Pete

This article covering the new Bernini and the Roman Baroque is part of a paid partnership with the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg

There’s a brand new exhibition opening at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, and it will offer visitors a unique opportunity to experience rarely seen masterpieces. Bernini and the Roman Baroque: Masterpieces from Palazzo Chigi in Ariccia features rarely seen and privately owned masterpieces from the princely Chigi family. Giovan Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) was one of the brightest luminaries in the history of art, creating theatrical sculpture, paintings, decorative arts, and architecture.

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His remarkable versatility and vision helped to transform the city of Rome during the early 1600s, and his artistic spirit inspired dozens of artists during his lifetime. Bernini first trained in the Roman workshop of his father Pietro, assisting with such sculptures as a pair of terms representing Spring and Fall in the guise of Flora and Priapus. The classically inspired Bacchanal: A Faun Teased by Children, one of his first independent works, takes as its point of departure the Mannerist motif of interwoven figures, according to Veronica White, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University in an essay published by the Metropolitan Museum.

Carlo Maratti, called “Il Maratta” and Mario Nuzzi, called “Mario de’ Fiori“, The Summer, 1658-59, Oil on canvas, Palazzo Chigi, Ariccia.

Masterpieces that helped shape the artistic culture of Rome

This exhibition celebrates the work of Bernini and the brilliance of the Roman Baroque period (c. 1600-1700). Included are works not only by Bernini himself—embodying the Baroque ideals of intense drama, bold imagination, emotional engagement, and the activation of the viewer’s space—but by dozens of his fellow artists. These paintings, prints, and decorative arts epitomize the period’s ultimate goal of elevating the viewer in both mind and soul, and engaging them fully with the art itself. 

Reflecting artistic energy that pulsated throughout Europe and inspired architects, artists, and urban planners across the globe, Bernini and the Roman Baroque embodies the magnificence and innovation that transformed Rome into the capital of the art world for centuries to come.

Bernini was a man of great faith, he attended mass daily and practiced contemporary religious exercises. His caricatures of prominent religious figures showcase the prolific artist’s sense of humor. The artist’s dynamic portfolio will be on full display for all in the Sunshine City.

Guillaume Courtois, called “Il Borgognone“, Agar and Ismael, c. 1670, Oil on canvas, Courtesy of Collection Fagiolo, Palazzo Chigi, Ariccia.

The arts Mecca of Beach Drive

The exhibition will be on display from February 12-May 8. You can learn more about the exhibit, reserve your tickets, and keep up with MFA events on their website. Follow MFA St. Pete on Facebook and Instagram to engage with the institution daily.

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The Museum of Fine Arts is located at 255 Beach Drive Northeast

Bernini and the Roman Baroque: Masterpieces from Palazzo Chigi in Ariccia is organized by Glocal Project Consulting and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.

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