Bacchanal a Faun Teased by Children by Gian Lorenzo Bernini Metropolitan Museum of Art Thesis

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Art

Bernini's Bacchanal: A Faun Teased by Children

Gian Lorenzo Bernini was the son of a prominent artist and sculptor, Pietro Bernini, but his genius was quickly observed to surpass that of his fathers, and his skills were honed from a very young age by some of the best instructors in Rome.

Despite this Italian heritage, however, Bernini's art also bears a strong relationship to the rococo style of the court of Louis XIV.

His brilliance was well-known before he traveled to the French court, and it is perhaps more correct and fitting to Bernin's memory to say that he influenced art in the court and helped the rococo style to emerge rather tan to suggest that his later art was influenced by it.

The rococo style was an outgrowth of the ornate decorations that typified the Baroque period, and Bernini was one of the most prominent artists to straddle the two related eras.

His flowing figures and the celebrations of ecstasy or inspiration that are apparent in many of his works are at once emblematic of the artistic movements and styles of his time and the prime examples of the skills and effects that were sought during the Baroque and Rococo periods.

In addition, his work characterized the later Italian Renaissance at least as much as it influenced the Rococo style in the French court. Even his early works show a complete mastery of the style in which he was instructed along with his own innovations in both technique and subject.

This is clearly shown in his sculpture Bacchanal: A Faun Teased by Children.

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One is immediately drawn into the use of vertical line in this sculpture. The flowing curves of both the faun and the tree climb as if they are still growing, giving the figures a sense of life and upward motion. There are a few branches growing horizontally out from the tree low to the ground, but very little else interrupts the vertical flow and line of the piece. The line also creates a sort of liquid feeling to the sculpture that defies its rigid and fixed nature, as though it is a snapshot taken with perfect clarity of violent and not necessarily pleasant movement.

Thesis on Bacchanal a Faun Teased by Children by Gian Lorenzo Bernini Metropolitan Museum of Art Assignment

The use of line is closely related to the texture of the piece, which is soft and flowing and gives an appearance as paradoxically alive as the line use. Even he sleek and well-toned muscles of the faun do not appear overly hard or firm, but rather seem to be made -- quite naturally -- of flesh, with at least a slight give to it. The flesh of the children, quite obviously modeled after traditional depictions of cherubim in Renaissance paintings, is even more soft and giving, with the plump roundness of their faces and limbs creasing at every bend and appearing almost pillowy in their dimensions, yet remaining impervious to any possibility of harm.

But although the figures of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Bacchanal a Faun Teased by Children by Gian Lorenzo Bernini Metropolitan Museum of Art."  Essaytown.com.  April 13, 2009.  Accessed April 13, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/bacchanal-faun-teased-children-gian/50475.