Bernini's theology: Two monuments to early modern Catholicism
Marra, Ann Marie
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In the past, art historical scholarship has treated the work of Gian Lorenzo Bernini in mainly formal terms, discussing the success of his strategies for creating a sculptural theatre, capable of arousing the emotions of the viewer. In this regard, Bernini has been highly praised for his capacity for illusionism. This analysis will instead consider the deeper theological implications of his work. To this end, two of his more noted works will be examined: The Ecstasy of St. Teresa and The Fountain of the Four Rivers . Referencing the writings of contemporaneous mystics and theologians, it will be argued that these two works epitomize a particularly Post-Reformation Catholic theology, and thus stand as monuments for the period of Early Modern Catholicism.