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By Maarten Delbeke

Exact between early sleek artists, the Baroque painter, sculptor, and architect Gianlorenzo Bernini used to be the topic of 2 monographic biographies released presently after his dying in 1680: one via the Florentine gourmet and author Filippo Baldinucci (1682), and the moment by means of Bernini's son, Domenico (1713). This interdisciplinary number of essays through historians of artwork and literature marks the 1st sustained exam of the 2 biographies, firstly 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 learn with insights from philology, literary historical past, and paintings and literary concept supply significant new insights into the multifarious connections among biography, paintings background, and aesthetics, inviting readers to reconsider Bernini's existence, artwork, and milieu.

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84 However, it was not until February 1681, three months after Bernini’s death, that La Chambre’s rather modest “Éloge de M. le cavalier Bernini” (more an extended obituary than a biography) appeared in the Journal des sçavans. The same author’s “Préface pour servir à l’histoire de la vie et des ouvrages du Cavalier Bernini” was only published in 1685 (fig. ”85 Montanari dates the beginning of an Italian biographical campaign, led by Pier Filippo, to 1674. In January of that year, in a letter written to Carlo Cartari (1614 –1697), the archivist and librarian of the Altieri family, Bernini’s eldest son indicated that the catalogue he was compiling of his father’s works had reached seventy.

116 One year later, the young Sicilian musician Alessandro Scarlatti composed the music to accompany one of Pier Filippo’s pastoral comedies, which was to be staged at the Bernini family palace early the next year. 118 In 1679 Pier Filippo supported the staging of Scarlatti’s first public opera in Rome, Gli equivoci nel sembiante. 121 In his last will and testament, Gianlorenzo entrusted Pier Filippo with arranging for his burial in Santa Maria Maggiore and designated him, along with his brothers, Paolo, Francesco, and Domenico, his universal heir.

Bernini’s biographies and literary genres One way of approaching the similarities and differences between the Bernini vite is through a consideration of the various literary genres on which these biographical texts draw. 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.

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