Roman Baroque takes over Sofia
A collection from the Palazzo Chigi presents the genius of Bernini, the most distinguished representative of the art of communication
11 May, 2018
The exhibition 'Bernini and Roman Baroque: Modern Way of Expression. Works from the Palazzo Chigi of Ariccia' will be on show between 15 May and 15 July at the National Art Gallery, thanks to the assistance of the Italian Cultural Institute (Istituto Italiano Di Cultura) in Sofia. On display will be some 58 artworks attributed to prominent artists of the Roman Baroque - from Gian Lorenzo Bernini to Cavalier d'Arpino and Mattia Preti.
This is the most diverse bouquet of genres and themes, favoured by the art patrons of the time, to ever be presented in Bulgaria - from portraits and self-portraits to landscapes and allegories with exquisite classical note and, finally, the triumphant Baroque, with its religious depictions residing somewhere between contemplative intimacy and the magnitude of Jesus Christ's sacrifice.
The audience will be introduced to the genius of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, believed to be the greatest art representative of his era. A brilliant artist, sculptor, set designer, playwright and architect, he explored a plethora of fields in search of his own style of expression, which ultimately became Baroque's universal language. The exhibition will showcase a lesser-known side of Bernini, placing the focus on his figure as an artist and a designer. His works will be joined by masterpieces created by many of the artists who flocked to Rome namely because of Bernini's artistic pulling power. Thanks to the collection stored in the Palazzo Chigi of Ariccia, just outside of Rome, visitors will have the pleasure to view pieces by Joos de Momper, Cavalier d'Arpino, Giacinto Gimignani, Ambrogio Borgognone and many others.
The exhibition highlights the importance of art's potential for communication, which becomes central during the Baroque era. It created a true revolution in the aesthetics and dissemination of art at the time.
“In that sense, Gian Lorenzo Bernini is the most distinguished representative of the art of communication. He never thought of art in its individual manifestations, as was the Renaissance concept, but in its totality as a comprehensive form of conveying a message. In his large portfolio of roles - artist, sculptor, architect, author of comedies, set designer, and even a forefather of design, Bernini was able to combine these various aesthetic aspects in one coherent message. His approach was studied first in Rome and then across the world,” explains Luigina Peddi, director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Sofia. “One of Baroque's goals is the ability to engage in dialogue with all major players in society in order to achieve a widely-sourced selection of not only ethical or cultural values but objective and material values as well,” she added.
A series of events and meetings with experts will draw a parallel between 17th century and today's society, revealing an extremely modern and perceptive language of communication.