ST PETER'S IN THE VATICAN
Bernini at St. Peter's
by Irving Lavin, 2005

From the book "St. Peter's in the Vatican," edited by William Tronzo, Cambridge University Press 2005
This text is in copyright. No reproduction of any part may take place without
written permission of Cambridge University Press.

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Altars
Monuments
Chronology

Preamble
ST PETER'S AS SUMMA ECCLESIARUM
THE APSE AND CROSSING
THE HIGH ALTAR

BALDACHINS AND CIBORIA
THE BALDACCHINO (1624-35)
BORROMINI AND THE BALDACCHINO
A NEGLECTED PROTOTYPE OF BERNINI'S BALDACCHINO

PAIRED TOMBS
THE TOMB OF URBAN VIII (1627-47)
THE CROSSING PIERS (1627-41)
THE NAVE: CONTINUITY
"FEED MY SHEEP" (1633-46)

MATILDA OF TUSCANY (1633-44)

THE NAVE DECORATION (1647-8)
INGRESS AND EGRESS
THE PIAZZA AND COLONNADES (1656-67)
CATHEDRA PETRI (1657-66)
THE CONSTANTINE AND SCALA REGIA (1662-70)
THE TOMB OF ALEXANDER VII (1671-78)
THE PONTE SANT'ANGELO AND
CASTEL SANT'ANGELO (1667-71)
PREHISTORY

The Plague
BERNINI'S WAY OF SALVATION
List of Angels on Ponte Sant'Angelo

CONSUMMATION
THE SACRAMENT ALTAR (1673-5)
THE CHURCH, THE CITY, AND THE ARTIST
ROMA ALLESSANDRINA: URBAN UNITY, PUBLIC WELFARE, AND UNIVERSAL CHRISTIAN CHARITY

THE BLOOD OF CHRIST (1669-70)
APPENDIX 2 - LIST OF POPES DURING BERNINI'S LIFETIME

 

 

 

BERNINI AT ST. PETER'S

Singularis in Singulis, in Omnibus Unicus

Irving Lavin

Notes

This essay is a revised and expanded version of one published in Pinelli 2000, where full biography and a detailed catalogue by various authors will be found. The text of this version has benefited from the attentive editing of Mary Elizabeth Lewis and the exemplary research assistance of Uta Nitschke-Stumpf.


122
Zollikofer 1994, II; Schlegel 1996.
123
I have borrowed the term "activated" from the pioneering study of tomb sculpture by Ponofsky 1964, 73, 76ff., who used it to describe "living" effigies.
124
On Bernini's view of the relationship between beauty and truth, see Lavin 1980, 70-6.
125
Traver 1907
126
The theme of the sleeping infant in depictions of the Virgin and Christ Child as foreboding the Pieta has been familiar since the pioneering work of Frestone 1942. Adam was frequently shown reclining at the foot of the Cross (see Bagatti 1977).
127
Fehl 1966
128
Hours 1964, I, 1164f., III, 1776f.; cf. Lasance and Walsh 1945, 1269.
129
St Bernard's Sermons 1950, III, 134, 149. "Ut inhabitet gloria in terra nostra, misericordia et veritas obviaverunt sibi, justitia et pax osculatae sunt ... Haec dicit, Perii, si Adam non moriatur; et haec dicit: Perii, nisi misericordiam consequatur. Fiat mors bona, et havet utraque quod petit ... Sed id quomodo fiet, inquiunt? Mors crudelissima, et amarissima est, mors terribilis, et ipso horrenda auditu. Bona fieri quanam ratione poterit? At ille: Mors, inquit, peccatorum pessima, sed pretiosa fieri potest mors sanctorum. Annon pretiosa erit, si fuerit janua vitae, porta gloriae? (Migne 1844-77, CLXXXIII, cols. 383, 389).
130
A signal instance of the principle of design Bernini enunciated as the true test of the architect:
Baldinucci 1948, 146f. "Nell'architettura dava bellissimi precetti: primieramente diceva non essere il sommo pregio dell'artefice il far bellissimi e comodi edifici, ma il sapere inventar maniere per servirsi del poco, del cattivo e male adattato al bisogno per far cose belle e far si, che sia utile quel che fu difetto e che, se non fusse, bisognerebbe farlo. Che poi il valor suo giugnesse a questo segno, conobbesi in molte sue opere, particolarmente nell'arme d'Urbano in Araceli che, per mancanza del luogo, ove situarla, che veniva occupato da una gran finestra, egli colori di azzurro il finestrone invetriato e in esso figuro le tre api, quasi volando per aria, e sopra colloco il regno. Similmente nel sepolcro di Alessandro; nella situazione della Cattedra, ove fece che il finestrone, che pure era d'impedimento le tornasse in aiuto, perche intorno a esso rappresento la gloria del paradiso e nel bel mezzo del vetro, quasi in luogo di luce inaccessibile fece vedere lo Spirito Santo in sembianza di colomba, che da compimento a tutta l'opera."
Baldinucci 1948, 131: "Mostro in questo sepolcro il cavalier Bernino la solita vivacita del suo ingegno, situandolo in una gran nicchia in luogo appunto, ove e una porta, per la quale continovamente si passa, servendosi di essa cosi bene al suo bisogno che quello, che ad altri sarebbe potuto parere grande impedimento, a lui servi d'aiuto, anzi fu necessario requisito per effettuare un suo bel pensiero."
Bernini 1713, 57f.: "Hor se il Bernino in quel che non era professione sua, si dimostrava tanto valente, quanto dobbiamo credere, che fosse in cio, in cui consisteva il suo proprio talento raffinato dallo studio, e dall'arte? E come che soleva dire, che 'Ll buon'Artefice era quello, che sapeva inventar maniere, per servirsi del poco, e del cativo, per far cose belle, egli veramente fu maraviglioso a comprovarlo con gli effetti.'"
Bernini 1713, 166: "Ne intraprese dunque arditamente i principii, e colla solita vivacita del suo ingegno situollo in una gran Nicchia sopra la Porta, che conduce dalla sua intenzione.
131
Andreae 1963.
132
Many examples will be found in Fagiolo dell'Arco 1997.
133
On this motif, see p. 172.
134
See the entry "Sipario" by Elena Poveledo in Enciclopedia dello spettacolo 1975, IX, cols. 1-8
135
Grunder 1985, 71, citing Haus 1970, 161n375.
136
The effect recalls that of Bernini's famous comedy of the Inundation of the Tiber, in which the river on stage threatened to overflow its bank and inundate the audience.
137
There have been three monographic treatments of the bridge: Weil 1974, D'Onofiro 1981, Cardili Alloisi and Tolomeo Speranza 1988; aluable essays have also appeared recently by Angela Negro and Marina Minozzi, in Strinati and Bernardini 1999.
138
Voragine 1969, 180f., 580.
139
" ... et ipse Angelus cum gladio in vagina sculptus in lapide mirae magnitudinis ..." (L'angelo e la citta 1987, I, 96-7).
140
"agniolo nuovo messo in chastello," with "l'ale e le penne e spada ... tutti de rame" (D'Onofrio 1978, 168).
141
"una statua dorata dell'angelo tenente la spada fuori del fodera"; (Chastel 1983, 279n44; D'Onofrio 1978, 168-70).
142
A valuable survey will be found in L'angelo e la citta 1987, I; see also Cavazzini 1989. On plague iconography generally: Crawfurd 1914; Ronen 1988, 1989; Ahl 1996, 141-6, 259f., and n. 171 below.
143
The Sala di Costantino fresco is admirably treated in Quednau 1979, 88-95, on the dating; on the vision, 330-45.
144
The history and art-history repercussions of the Sack of Rome have been explored with magisterial scope and acumen by Chastel 1983.
145
On the two liberations and the medal, see Chastel 1983, 190-1.
146
On the plague during the siege, see D'Onofrio 1976, 233-58; Pastor 1923-53, IX, 427-31
147
On the nature and significance of Bandinellis project, see Lavin 2003a.
148
On the statues and their significance in this context, see D'Onofrio 1978, 74-8.
149
The drawing is of later date but evidently records the Charles V entry. Although made of temporary materials, the figures may have remained in place after the event.
150
I use the terms "dexter" and "sinister" in the hierarchic sense of the liturgy (as in the Last Judgment) and heraldry. On the tradition of paralleled Old and New Testament narrative cycles in nave decorations, see n. 61 above.
151
An excellent account of these punishments and the atendant rituals, noted by D'Onofrio 1981, 78n10, will be found in Ingersoll 1985, 408-40. For the Last Judgment hangings, see Blunt 1939-40, 59, 61.
152
For the payments to Montelupo, whose angel was later restores by Bernini, see D'Onofrio 1978, 280, 305, 314, 322.
153
Gregory 1959, 230-40; Gregory 1978-80, CCLXV, 128-32:
Qui ductus ad inferni loca uidit multa, quae prius audita non credidit. Sed cum praesidenti illic iudici praesentatus fuisset, ab eo receptus non est, ita ut deceret: "Non hunc deduci, sed Stephanum ferrarium iussi." Qui statim reductus in corpore est, et Stephanus ferrarius, qui iuxta eum habitabat, eadem hora defunctus est. Sicque probatum est uera fuisse uerba quae audierat, dum haec effectus mortis Stpehani demonstrauit. Ante triennium quoque in hac pestilentia quae hanc urbem clade uehementissima depopulauit, in qua etiam corporali uisu sagittae caelitus uenire et singulos quosque ferire uidebantur, sicut nosti, Stephanus isdem / defunctus est. Quidam uero miles in hac eadem nostra urbe percussus ad extrema peruenit. Qui eductus e corpore exanimis iacuit, sed citius rediit et quae cum eo fuerant gesta narrauit. Aiebat enim, sicut tunc res eadem etiam multis innotuit, quia pons erat, sub quo niger atque caligosus foetoris intolerabilis nebulam exhalans fluuius decurrebat. Transacto autem ponte amoena erant prata atque uirentia, odoriferis herbarum floribus exornata, in quibus albatorum hominum conuenticula esse uidebantur. Tantusque in loco eodem odor suauitatis inerat, ut ipsa suauitatis fragrantia illic deambulantes habitantesque satiaret. Ibi mansiones diuersorum singulae magnitudine lucis plenae. Ibi quaedam mirae potentiae aedificabatur domus, quae aurels uidebatur laterculis construi, sed cuius esset non potuit agnosci. Erant uero super ripam praedicti fluminis nonnulla habitacula, sed alia exsurgentis foetoris nabula tangebantur, alia autem exsurgens foetor a flumine minime tangebat. Haec uero erat in praedicto ponte probatio, ut quisquis per eum iniustrum uellet transire, in tenebroso foetentique fluuio laberetur, iusti uero, quibus culpa non obsisteret, securo per eum gressu ac libero ad loca amoena peruenirent. Ibi se etiam Petrum, ecclesiasticae familiae maiorem qui ante quadriennium defunctus est, deorsum positum in locis teterrimis, magno ferri pondere religatum ac depressum uidisse confessus est. Qui dem requireret cur ita esset, ea se dixit audisse quae nos, qui eum in hac ecclesiastica domo nouimus, scientes e ius acta recolimus. Dictum namque est: "Haec idcirco patitur, quia si quid ei pro facienda ultione iubebatur, ad inferendas plagas plus ex crudelitatis desiderio quam oboedientia seruiebat." Quod sic fuisse nullus qui illum nouit ignorat. Ibi se etiam quemdam peregrinum presbiterum uidisse fatebatur, qui ad praedictum pontem ueniens, tanta per eum auctoritate transiit, quanta et hic sinceritate uixit. In eodem quoque ponte hunc quem praedixi Stephanum se recognouisse testatus est. Qui dum transire uoluisset, eius pes lapsus est, et ex medio corpore iam extra pontem deiecuts, a quibusdam teterrimis uiris ex flumine surgentibus per coxas deorsum, atque a quibusdam albatis et speciosissimis uiris coepit per brachia sursum trahi. Cumque hoc luctamen esset, ut hunc boni spiritus sursum, mali deorsum traherent, ipse qui haec uidebat ad corpus reuersus est, et quid de eo plenius gestum sit minime cognouit.
154
Berenson 1963, 203, fig. 403
155
Kauffmann 1970, 306, was the first to allude to these eschatological bidges in relation to the Ponte Sant'Angelo. They have been noted by Le Goff 1981, whose account of the "St Patrick's Purgatory" (193-201) is particularly suggestive in our context. The Knight Owein succeeds in crossing the perilous bridge by invoking Christ's name as he goes:
facing a very broad river of fire, traversed by what seems to be an impassable bridge, since it is so high as to induce vertigo, so narrow that it is impossible to set foot on it, and so slippery that it would be impossible in any case to maintain one's footing. In the river below, demons are waiting with iron hooks. Onc eagain Owein invokes the name of Jesus and advances onto the bridge. The further he advances, the wider and more stable the bridge becomes, and half-way across he can no longer see the river to the right or the left. He escapes one last infuriated attempt by the demons and, climbing down from the bridge, finds himself facing a very splendid high wall whose gates, made of pure gold set off by precious gems, give off a delightful odor. He enters and finds himself in a city of marvels.
In my view, this is exactly the import of the Ponte Sant'Angelo.
156
Dante 1970-5, Inf. XVIII, 184f., vv. 19-36:
In questo luogo, de la schiena scossi
di Gerion, trovammoci; e 'l poeta
tenne a sinistra, e io dietro mi mossi.
A la man destra vidi nova pieta,
novo tormento e novi frustatori,
di che la prima bolgia era repleta.
Nel fondo erano ignudi i peccatori;
dal mezzo in qua ci venien verso 'l volto,
da la con noi, ma con passi maggiori,
come i Roman per l'essercito molto,
l'anno del giubileo, su per lo ponte
hanno a passar la gente modo colto,
che da l'un lato tutti hanno la fronte
verso 'l castello e vanno a Santo Pietro;
da l'altra sponda vanno verso 'l monte.
Di qua, di la, su per lo sasso tetro
vidi demon cornuti con gran ferze,
che li batien crudelmente di retro.
157
Frugoni 1996, esp. 108
158
Enciclopedia dantesca 1984, V, 601f.; cf. Dante 1970-5, Purg. II, 18, vv. 100-5; XXV, 274, v. 86.
159
Male 1972, 62-4.
160
This point was emphasized by Le Goff 1981, 90-5.
161
Voragine 1969, 653.
162
Lasance and Walsh 1945, 1272: "Domine Jesu Christe, Rex gloriae, libera animas omnium fidelium defunctorum de poenis inferni, et de profunda lacu: libera eas de ore leonis, ne absorbeat eas tartarus, ne cadant in obscurum; sed signifer sanctus Michael repraesentet eas in lucem sanctam: Quam olim Abrahae promisisti, et semini ejus."
163
See Pastor 1923-53, XXXI, 31-3, and D'Onofrio 1976, 221-60, with the vivid account in the diary of Carlo Cartari; Weil 1974, 93f., also regarded the plague of 1656-7 as a factor in the refurbishing of the bridge.
164
Bonannus 1699, II, 649, no. X.
165
D'Onofrio 1976, 252
166
Bonannus 1699, II, 649-50, no. XI; Bernini in Vaticano 1981, 289.
167
"ita ut in plateas eicerent infirmos et ponerent in lectulis et grabatis, ut, veniente Petro, saltem umbra illius obumbraret quemquam illorum, et liberarentur ab infirmitatibus suis et liberabantur ab infirmitate statim salvi fiebant."
168
Ronen 1988, 92ff.
169
Buonanni 1699, II, 650.
170
Ibid., 697f., no. XXXX. See especially Perlove 1982; Petrucci 1997, 190-5; Bernardini and Fagiolo dell'Arco 1999, 414f.
171
Perhaps relevant to the reaction in Rome was the commission by the governors of Naples to Mattia Preti for a series of intercessory frescoes for the city gates, concerning which see Clifton 1994, 479-501. The angel with sword and scabbard occupies the center of Preti's plague paintings, executed 1656-9, and Clifton shows that the location of the images at the entrances to the city had an apotropaic function; the same may be said of Castel Sant'Angelo. Depictions of the Naples plague itself, with an angel of Christ wielding the sword are discussed by Roworth 1993, Marshall 1998, and Erben 1999.
172
The evidence for erlier ideas and planning for the bridge under Alexander VII is summarized by Weil 1974, 91-3
173
D'Onofrio 1978, 82; for the inscription, Forcella 1869-84, XIII, 150, no. 282.
174
" ... per haver schiodato li ferramenti dell'Angelo sudetto perche il Signor Bernini architetto ha voluto vadi piu alto" (D'Onofrio 1978, 322; 1981, 81). Bernini also supervised substantial restorations necessitated by accidental damage in 1660 (D'Onofrio 1978, 322)
175
D'Onofrio 1981, 83, also perceived that the completion of the colonnade, the raising of the angel, and the plan for the bridge were related.
176
Chantelou 1985, 31 July, 1 August, 94n177, aptly referring the passage to the Ponte Sant'Angelo and its open-grille railings (96). Chantelou 1885, 78: "Le soir, la promenade fut assez courte; il a voulu aller sur le Pont-Rouge, et y a fait arreter le carrosse un bon quart d'heure, regardant d'un cote et d'autre du pont, puis m'a dit: 'C'est la un bel aspect, je suis fort ami des eaus; elles font [du bien] a mon temperament.' Apres nous nous in sommes revenus"; "quand nous avons ete vers le Cours, il m'a demande a'aller sur le Pont-Rouge, comme le soir precedent; il y a demeure un bon quart d'heure, puis nous nous en sommes revenus par le Pont-Rouge, comme le soir precedent; il y a demeure un bon quart d'heure, puis nous nous en sommes revenus par le Pont-Neuf, per les rues." Lalanne identifies the bridge with the Pont-Rouge that linked Cite with the Ile Notre Dame.
177
Babelon 1977, pls. 13, 14; Duplomb 1911-13, I, 291-7; Hillairet 1967, 39-42.
178
On the jubilee tragedy, see D'Onofrio 1980, 234f.
179
Baldinucci 1966, 63f., 81; Baldinucci 1948, 129f.:
In questo pontificato fini il nostro artefice il braccia del portico verso il S. Ufizio, la cordonata alla scala, che noi diremmo padiglione, o scala a bastoni davanti alla basilica di S. Pietro; abbelli il ponte S. Angelo con statue d'angioli portanti gli strumenti della passione del Signore e fecevi le balaustrate. Aveva egli condotto di sua mano due de'medesimi angioli per dar loro luogo fra gli altri sopra di esso ponte; ma non parve bene a Clemente che opere si belle rimanessero in quel luogo all'ingiurie del tempo; che pero fecevene fare due copie e gli originali destino ad esser posti altrove a disposizione del cardinal'nipote. Cionostante il Bernino ne scolpi un altro segretamente, che e quello, che sostiene il titolo della croce, non volendo per verun modo che un'opera d'un pontefice, a cui egli si conosceva tanto obbligato, rimanesse senza una qualche fattura della sua mano Cio risaputo il papa, ebbene contento, e disse: "Insomma cavaliere, voi mi volete necessitare a far fare un'altra copia." E qui consideri il mio lettore che il nostro artefice constituito in eta decrepita in ispazio di due anni e non piu condusse le tre statue di marmo intere assai maggiore del naturale, cosa che ai piu intendenti dell'arte sembra avere dell'impossibile.
Baldinucci 1948, 147f.:
Ma giacche parliamo di fontane, e da sapersi un altro suo precetto; e fu, che essendo fatte le fontane per lo godimento dell'acque, doveansi quelle sempre far cadere in modo, che potessero esser vedute. Con tal concetto (cred'io) dovendo egli far restaurare per ordine di Clemente IX il ponte S. Angiolo sul Tevere, ne fece sfondare le sponde, accio l'acque meglio se potessero godere, ond'e che con doppio piacere vede l'occhio dai lati del fiume il corso dell'aque e sopra quei del ponte l'ornato degli angioli, per alludere all'antico nome del ponte.
180
Bernini 1713, 158-60:
Ma Clemente desideroso ugualmente quanto i suoi Predecessori di accrescere magnificenza al Tempio di S. Pietro, ornamento a Roma, e Gloria al suo Pontificato, ordino al Cavaliere, che con qualche nobile invenzione ornasse in miglior forma quel Ponte, che, prossimo al Castello, da lui prende il nome, di Ponte S. Angelo, giudicato degno di riguardevole abbellimento si perla grandezza della Mole Hadriana, che, a chi v'imbocca, si offerisce avanti, come per essere la piu frequentata via, che conduce alla gran Basilica di S. Pietro. E ne sovvenne al Bernino il pensiere proporzionatissimo al luogo, e maestoso quanto dir si possa all'apparenza. Fu suo detto assai familiare, che Il buon'Architetto in materia di Fontane, o di lavori sopr'acque, doveva sempre procurar con facilita la veduta di esse o nel cader che fanno, o nel passare: Poiche essendo le acque di gran godimento alla vista, con impedirla, o con difficoltarla, toglie a quelle opere il loro pregio piu dilettevole. Con questa intenzione, nell'adornamento dell'accennato Ponte, volle il Cavaliere ne'Poggi, che sogliono comporsi tutti di materia, e di muro si aprisse di tanto in tanto un proporzionato vano, assicurato da altrettante ferrate, per cui, commodo fosse al Passagiere rimirare il corso di quell'acque, sopra le quali esso felicemente camina.
181
D'Onofrio 1981, 94.
182
On this theme, see Lavin, "On the Unity of the Arts and the Early Baroque Opera House" (1990) and Lavin 1993, 147-55
183
On Bernini and the theater, see Lavin 1980, 146-57.
184
Weil 1974, 32.
185
Ibid., 35; also D'Onofrio 1981, 48
186
On these contrasting and normally incompatible traditions, see Lavin, "On the Unity of the Arts and the Early Baroque Opera House" (1990)
187
On the Works of Mercy and the Last Judgment, see Knipping 1974, II, 328-32; Harison 1976, 106-16; Pacelli 1984; 31-48.
188
Roscio 1586, 82; part 1 of Roscio's treatise is devoted to the acts "quae ad corpus pertinent," i.e., those mentioned explicitly by Christ; part 2 (45ff.) considers those "quae ad animum pertinent," as defined by Thomas Aquinas. On Roscio, see Zuccari 1984, 118f., fig. 7; Pacelli 1984, 46f., figs. 30-2
189
On the Arma Christi" Berliner 1955; Knipping 1974, II, 461-5; Suckale 1977.
190
Berliner 1955, 35f., cited by Preimesberger 1988, 207.
191
The seminal study of these works is that of Zuccari 1984, 92f., 109-37, followed by Macioce 1990, 126-8, 132f., 149f.; Caperna 1999, 97-101. In SS. Nereo e Achilleo, similar frescoed angels standing atop the nave columns carry the palm and crown of martyrdom. The relevance of these church decorations for the bridge sculptures was noted by Minozzi 1999, 81f., who also perceived the nature and novelty of Bernini's synthesis of the Via Crucis and the Arma Christi traditions in a progressive (and processional) series of independent angels bearing the instruments.
192
See Zuccari's excellent analysis of the significance of the Joseph story and its relevance to the conversion of Henry IV (1974, 115-19).
193
Speculum passionis Christi salvatoris mundi, Hollstein 1949-, XVI, 21-3, nos. 57-67ad.
194
De Passe: Bartsch 1978-, LXXII, part 1 (supplement), 107-19. Sadeler: Bartsch 1978, LXX, part 1 (supplement), 263f.; Knipping 1974, II, 462f. Other precedents are cited by Minozzi 1999, 81f.
195
Fo the order and disposition of the angels and the inscriptions on the pedestals, see Kruft and Larsson 1966, 157, Weil 1974, fig. 100, 52; our Fig. 247 is after Weil 1974, fig. 52, corrected.
196
The nature of the relationship between the instruments and the texts has been illustrated by Preimesberger 1988, 208-11; he does not consider the inscriptions discussed here.
197
In a number of drawings for the angels by studio hands the figures stand on oblong plinths, suggesting that the clouds may have been introduced at a later time in the development of the project. However, none of the autograph sketches, drawn or modeled, shows such a plinth instead of the clouds. The studies have been most recently surveyed by Tolomeo Speranza, in Cardilli Alloisi and Tolomeo Speranza 1988, 43-80.
198
Weil 1974, 139-51, outlines their careers and artistic personalities.
199
D'Onofrio 1981, 84, regards the buttresses as useless. Bernini's reconstruction remained in place until the modern embankment and street were installed after 1892. For Bernini's work and its replacement, compare Weil 1974, figs. 20-1, figs. 1-4, and see Stefano Funari and Giuseppe Biunno, in Cadrilli Alloisi and Tolomeo Speranza 1988, 224-38.
200
"[conversus sum] in aerumna mea dum configitur spina."
201
Gramatica 1951, 485
202
"dicite in gentibus, quia Dominus regnavit."
203
"Vexilla Regis prodeunt ..." Reydellet 1994, 57, 185.
204
See Angelo Negro, in Strinati and Bernardini 1999, 67-9
205
Certain areas are left rough, and Negro 1999, 73, has suggested that the finish postdates Bernini; but the rough areas are invisible from the front and below, and indicate only that Bernini expected the huge figures mounted on pedestals to be viewed in that way - a frequent procedure in his work.
206
The replacements differ from their counterparts in varying degrees, but chiefly in the lower drapery of the angel with the superscription, executed by Bernini himself, which blows in the same, rather than the opposite, direction with respect to its companion; the change seems appropriate for figures meant to be seen in succession rather than as a pair.
207
I doubt that the angels were moved from Bernini's studio to the Palazzo Rospigliosi (D'Onofrio 1981, 87). They do not appear in the inventories of Bernini's possessions taken after his death, no doubt because they were not legally his property. The report that his grandson gave them to the church also suggests that they remained physically in Bernini's house.
208
Wittkower 1997 (1995), 57f., noted the gender difference and emphasized Bernini's debt to the Pseudo-Dionysius.
209
Following Weil 1974, the material is conveniently collected in Tolomeo Speranza 1988, but with a hopeless conflation of original and workshop studies. Valuable observations on Bernini's modeling technique have been offered by Sigel 1999.
210
On this subject and the history of the sculptural model generally, see Lavin 1967 (1964).
211
On these points, see Meeks 1974, Koole 1986, Mathews 1993, and Keck 1998.
212
Pseudo-Dionysius, XV, 6; 1987, 187f.:
They are also named "winds" 161 as a sign of the virtually instant speed with which they operate everywhere, their coming and going from above to below and again from below to abvoe as they raise up their subordinates to the highest peak and as they prevail upon their own superiors to proceed down into fellowship with and concern for those beneath them. One could add that the word "wind" means a spirit of the air and shows how divine and intelligent beings live in conformity with God. The word is an image and a symbol of the activity of the Deity. It naturally moves and gives life, a hurrying forward, direct and unrestrained, and this in virtue of what to us is unknowable and invisible, namely the hiddenness of the sources and the objectives of its movements. "You do not know," says scripture, "whence it comes and whither it goes." 162 This was all dealt with in more detail by me in The Symbolic Theology when I was explicating the four elements. 163 The word of God represents them also as clouds. 164 This is to show that the holy and intelligent beings are filled in a transcendent way with hidden light. Directly and without arrogance they have been first to receive this light, and as intermediaries, they have generously passed it on so far as possible to those next to them. They have a generative power, a life-giving power, a power to give increase and completion, for they rain understanding down and they summon the breast which receives them to give birth to a living tide.
213
On the mystical theology of clouds and light, see Puech 1938.
214
"... il pregio maggiore del suo Scalpello, con cui vinto haveva la difficulta di render' il Marmo pieghevole come la cera, ... il cuore di rendere i sassi cosi ubbidienti alla mano, come se stati fossero di pasta" (Bernini 1713, 149); on this point, see Lavin 1980, 11f.
215
On the Wounds of Our Lord and the Spear Thrust, see New Catholic Encyclopedia 1967-89, XIV, 1036-7.
216
Malatesta 1977, 176
217
28 postea sciens Iesus quia iam omnia consummata sunt ut consummaretur scriptura dicit sitio
30 cum ergo accepisset Iesus acetum dixit consummatum est et inclinato capite tradidit spiritum
34 sed unus militum lancea latus eius aperuit et continuo exivit sanguis et aqua
35 et qui vidit testimonium perhibuit et verum est eius testimonium et ille scit quia vera dicit ut et vos credatis
36 facta sunt enim haec ut scriptura impleatur os non comminuetis ex eo.
218
" ... ut significaretur ex morte et latere Chrisiti, quase secondi Adae dormientis in cruce, Ecclesiam quasi Evam Chrisit sponsam formatam esse ... ut ait Cyrillus e Chrysostomus, acqua significet baptismum, qui est principium Ecclesiae et Sacramentorum caeterorum; sanguis vero repraesentet Eucharistiam, quae omnium Sacramentorum finis est et complementim, ad quae duo quasi ad principium et finem, caetera Sacramenta omnia deducuntur" (Lapide 1866-8, XVI, 621; Lapide 1876-1908, VI, 249, 248). The early interpretations are conveniently summarized by Malatesta 1977 and Meehan 1985. See also the important work by Heer 1966, who relates the Johannine tradition to the devotion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, followed by O'Donnell 1992. The first part of John 19:34 is quoted in the banderole in the upper part of the crossing pier niche which Bernini's sculpture of St. Longinus, in connection with which the text was discussed in a paper by Preimesberger 1989.
219
"Cur nec solus sanguinis nec sola aqua de latere eius exierit, vel cur aqua sanguini sociata sit.
...
Societate, inquam, vivifici pretiosi sanguinis hoc accepti, ut comparetur vera similitudine Rubro mari, per quod salvatus populus transivit Pharaone submerso cum currinbus et equitibus suis. Nam fugientes Aegyptum huius saeculi mundatos in veram repromissionis terram transmittit diabolumque persequentem penitus absorbet cum praeteritis actibus et pompis suis" (Rupert of Deutz 1999, III, 812-4).
220
Much material on the interpretation and art-historical ramifications of the Song of Songs is found in Aronber Lavin and Lavin 2001.
221
The relationship between Song of Songs 4:9 and the lance wound have been explored by Hamburger 1990, 72-7, in connection with a diptych illustration in the Rothschild Canticles (Fig. 15): Sponsa, who gestures toward her eyes, thrust her spear toward the figure of Christ with the instruments of the Passion, who points to the wound in his side. There is no allusion to John 19:34.
222
I received a photograph of the drawing in 1973 from a New York dealer, John A. Torson, who supplied no details. I have since been unable to trace the work.
223
The fact that the Trinity altar was widened when the temporary sacrament altar was moved, as the documents attest, is no proof that the transfer was not anticipated (Rice 1997, 208); the change indicates only that the original size of the Trinity altar may have been determined by other factors, or that it was installed before the dimensions of Bernini's work were determined. The documents concerning the early Sacrament altar were published by Pollak 1928-31, II, 36, Reg. 42, 301-5, Reg. 967-83.
224
The documents speak first of two, then of four angels.
225
For what follows concerning the angels I am much indebted to the inspired study by Eric Peterson 1964.
226
In her entry on Bernini's tabernacle in Pinelli 2000, Schede, 699, Evonne Levy also notes the gender distinction between the angels.
227
On these sculptures, see Lavin 1980, 101-29, and Schutze, in Coliva and Schutze 1998, 148-69.
228
Gougaud 1925, 19, 25f.
229
Keck 1998, 176
230
XV, 4; Pseudo-Dionysius 1987, 186
231
On the paradox of Bernini's "calculated spontaneity," see Lavin 1978a. On the bozzetto illustrated in Fig. 260, see Lavin 2001.
232
Cited by Hibbard 1965, 202.
233
See Fagiolo 1997, 129.
234
On the adult nude Christ, see Lavin 1977-8, Steinberg 1996, 19-22, 135-9, 146f., Hamburger 1990, 72f. It is important to note that the Minerva Christ has no chest wound and that the small holes representing the other wounds are certainly later "additions": they do not appear in the early copies (Tolnay 1943-60, III, figs. 236-42)
235
On the Last Judgment and the Trinity, see Harbison 1976, 159-68.
236
See Tolnay 1943-60, II, fig. 51.
237
This section was extracted from the writer's contribution to a symposium commemorating Richard Krautheimer; Lavin 1997.
238
Krautheimer and Jones 1975; supplemented by Morello 1981.
239
Aronberg Lavin 1994.
240
Chantelou 1885, 15; 1985, 12 (4 June 1665)
241
The notion of Alexander's Rome as Roma moderna, articulated in the publications of the period, stems from Pastor 1923-53, XXXI, 312.
242
See on this point my introduction to Panofsky's essay "What Is Baroque?" in Lavin 1995.
243
See Krautheimer 1985, 70, 80, 174; Pastor 1923-55, XXXI, 291.
244
"Applico subito a i mali gl'opportuni remedii, e compassionando la poverta, che non solo priva d'impiego errava vagabonda per la Citta, ma languiva oppressa da una carestia che quanto piu affligeva il Popolo, tanto maggiormente doveva far spiccare la sua pieta, si volse a distribuire grand.ma quantita d'oro, benche la scarsezza dell'erario fosse un'argine opposto al torrente di questa devota munificenza. Portato il nostro liberalissimo Prencipe dalla piena Carita ben providde, che l'aprire semplicemente a beneficio comune i Tesori era un fomentare otio, et un nudrire i vitii. Onde quell'istesso antidoto che s'applicava per la salute poteva essere un tossico piu potente per avvelenarla. Cosi dunque represse quella fiamma di Carita, non per estinguerla, ma accio maggiormente a pro di suoi sudditi si dilatasse, quindi penso dar principio ad una gran fabbrica, mediante la quale s'eccitasse l'impigeo nei vagabondi, e si sovvenisse con il giro di grossa somma di denaro alle correnti necessita." Brauer and Wittkower 1931, 70n1. Brauer and Wittkower date the statement 1659-60, whereas Krautheimer 1985, 174, gives 1657-8; Pizzati's diatribe was composed 1656-9, as noted by Krautheimer 1985, 191.
245
This attitude is emphasized by Alexander's friend and biographer, the Jesuit Sforza Pallavicino 1839-40, II, 177f.
246
Fiorani 1980, 53-148, cf. 133.
247
Alexander's efforts, and ultimate failure, to break the tradition of nepotism are described by Pastor 1923-53, XXXI, 24ff.
248
On Bernini, charity, and the homeless, see Lavin 1997, 1998, and 2000b; for efforts to deal with the problem in the sixteenth century, especially a similar project under Sixtus V, see Delumeau 1957-9, I, 403-16. The immediate successor to the Lateran hospice, after the turn of the century, was the vast Apostolic Hospice of San Michele a Ripa (Sisinni, ed. 1990, Bevilacqua Melasecchi 2001).
249
On Bernini's death, the bust of the Savior, and the Sangue di Cristo, see Lavin 1972 and 1998.
250
The original of this long-lost work, known from an autograph drawing and several early copies and reflections, came to light at S. Sebastiano fuori le mura in Rome; see Cucco 2001, 119, where the connection with Bernini was overlooked; Fagiolo dell'Arco 2002, 71, where it is described as "attributed" to Bernini; and Lavin 2003b.
251
Among the many known copies, the one Bernini commissioned for himself has also recently been identified; see n. 260 below.
252
See Lavin 1998, 81-94; Lavin 2000; Anselmi 2001
253
The print measures 473 x 290mm, the book 170 x 110mm; the thematic analogy between the composition and the Sacrament altar was noted nad aptly discussed by Beck 1999.
254
Marchese 1670.
255
9:14 (Douay): How much more shall the blood of Christ, who by the Holy Ghost offered himself unspotted unto God, cleanse our conscience from dead works, to serve the living God?
256
"Vi offerisco il Sangue dell'umanato Verbo, o Padre Eterno: e se manca cosa alcuna, l'offerisco a voi, o Maria, accioche alla Trinita."
257
Cf. Tolnay 1943-60, II, 137.
258
On the stained-glass window at Wettingen, dated 1590, see Anderes and Hoegger 1989, 258f.

 

 

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