A Marine God with a Dolphin

Object Details

Title:

A Marine God with a Dolphin

Artist/Maker(s):

Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Italian, 1598 - 1680)

Culture:

Italian

Place(s):

Italy (Place created)

Date:

1652 - 1653

Medium:

Black chalk

Dimensions:

34.8 x 23.8 cm (13 11/16 x 9 3/8 in.)

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Tilting backwards on a perilous pile of rocks, a marine god wrestles with the dolphin perched on the figure's shoulders. Quick, curving lines and rough shading fill the drawing with vibrant movement: the dolphin in particular seethes with energy. Gian Lorenzo Bernini swiftly outlined the shapes of the rock formations as well as the marine god and dolphin. Using some blunt tool, perhaps even a thumb or finger, he softly smudged the lines to create the shadows that form the contorted pose of the god's muscular torso. Between 1652 and 1653, Bernini sent studies for fountains to Duke Francesco I d'Este for his palace. Other craftsmen transferred this particular design into a terracotta model, and then local, less accomplished workers produced a more static stucco fountain for the central niche of the palace.

Exhibitions
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (May 24 to August 8, 1993) (12)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), May 24 to August 8, 1993
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994) (8)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994
Master Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998) (8)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998
Visions of Grandeur: Drawing in the Baroque Age (June 1 to September 12, 2004) (8)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 1 to September 12, 2004
Made for Manufacture: Drawings for Sculpture and the Decorative Arts (February 6 to May 20, 2007) (8)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 6 to May 20, 2007
Made for Manufacture: Drawings for Sculpture and the Decorative Arts (March 31 to July 5, 2009) (8)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 31 to July 5, 2009
Bernini Models in Clay (October 2, 2012 to May 5, 2013) (22)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), October 2, 2012 to January 6, 2013
  • Kimbell Art Museum, (Fort Worth), February 3 to May 5, 2013