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Bernini's Biographies: Critical Essays by Maarten Delbeke

Posted On February 25, 2017 at 4:57 pm by / Comments Off on Bernini's Biographies: Critical Essays by Maarten Delbeke

By Maarten Delbeke

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

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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. Moreover, he did not look further into the complex relationship between Domenico’s and Baldinucci’s texts, clinging to a view of one text as merely derivative of the other. This blinded him to some extent to the agendas and interests operating in each of the biographies. As such, from a critical point of view, little progress was made.

54 This rich book also tackled other key “myths” propagated by the biographies, such as Bernini’s precocity and Gianlorenzo’s attempt to write his father, Pietro, and collaborators out of history. 55 The deeper consequences of D’Onofrio’s work were broached twenty years later by Catherine Soussloff in her unpublished dissertation on Bernini’s biographies, and in subsequent articles on the biographical genre. 56 Soussloff effectively reintroduced the biographies to Bernini studies. As will be discussed below, since then a richer and more nuanced view of the genesis and relation of the two texts has emerged.

176 As much as the Bernini vite parallel the typical Vasarian life, they stand apart as two examples in the rare genre of the independent life of one artist. 177 Bernini’s biographers had little fear that Bernini’s vite would be grouped with the latter, viewing his, instead, as that of an exceptional artist whose life stood alongside those non-artists worthy of their own biographies. 180 Moving beyond where the Bernini vite are situated in relation to their specific biographical genre, what other literary genres inform the method and forms of these two texts?

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