Museum Home Past Exhibitions Bernini and the Birth of Baroque Portrait Sculpture

August 5–October 26, 2008 at the Getty Center

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Browse reactions of viewers below. These reactions were submitted to this site between August 5, 2008 and October 26, 2008. The site is now closed to new reactions. The opinions presented here may have been edited and do not reflect the opinions of the Getty.

Posted on 10/14/08 by Art Bautista, Los Angeles, CA
It is truly remarkable to capture reality in such a vivid format. Amazing work! There is no other artist that can freeze time and frame it the way Bernini did. I am content to be able to share Bernini with my children.

Posted on 10/8/08 by Julia Greipl, Germany
After Canada, will this exhibition travel to somewhere in Europe?

Editor's Note: Unfortunately not. The exhibition was co-organized by the National Gallery of Canada, Ottowa, and the J. Paul Getty Museum, and these are the only two venues.

Posted on 10/2/08 by Garret Pardee, Los Angeles, CA
Gian Lorenzo Bernini has been my most cherished Baroque sculptor, painter, and architect from visiting his signature works throughout all of Italy. This exhibit is only a glimpse of his brilliance yet a wonderful display for us to see. Thank you Getty Museum.

Posted on 09/22/08 by Arlisha Anderson, North Hollywood, CA
I absolutely love the intensity of the eyes and the attention to detail of the hands & ears in Bernini's sculptures. It's always nice to see self portraits.

Posted on 9/12/08 by Kristina, Los Angeles, CA
What a treat to experience the work of Bernini without traveling to Italy. The Artist-at-Work demonstration on Sundays is a wonderful way to experience the medium of the marble, and appreciate Bernini's talent even more.

Posted on 9/3/08 by M. Griffin, Los Angeles
It was great! Made me want to go back to Rome. I loved the slideshow on the website too.

Posted on 9/2/08 by Jenny Kubachka, Redondo Beach
It was beautiful. I must admit I didn't know who Bernini was. But his work is simply amazing.

Posted on 8/21/08 by elizabeth tucker, la canada, ca
Truly exquisite and the commentary was excellent.

Posted on 8/14/08 by Keda Serhij, Lubny
The best of the best!

Posted on 8/8/08 by Elizabeth Wood, Costa Mesa, CA
I felt as if my soul had been grasped and pulled gently back into history with each sculpture I viewed. The gift of being able to view the masterful work of Gian Lorenzo Bernini is an event I will never forget. Thank you so very much for providing this priceless opportunity!

Posted on 8/6/08 by Michael Buitron, Long Beach
In many ways this show can feel like a blessing and a curse. Many of Bernini's larger works came to mind when viewing these portraits. Not counting the impossibly large, like the baldachin at St. Peter's or the fountains at the Piazza Navona, the show was teasingly short on Bernini's more sensuous moments (not counting Costanza's parted lips). The rigidity of the ecclesiastical garments left me longing for Pluto's fingers digging into Proserpina's flesh.

On the other hand, I remember being enchanted by a Bernini portrait in some polychromed Roman basilica; a masterpiece that sat quietly a few steps away from some larger, famous, and more crowded upon work. Often when touring great collections, the crowds and placements conspire to let some great works dissolve into their surroundings. I toured the Borghese Gallery, but Bernini's enchanting little portrait of Pope Paul V was missed in the overflowing rooms. It's commendable that the Getty has pushed many of these works away from the walls, lit them with natural light, and given them the attention they deserve.

Read Michael's complete review on his blog.

Posted on 8/5/08 by Justin Norton, Arizona
I am overwhelmed to hear that the work of Bernini is on display and that a major institution such as The Getty would bring forth this kind of effort. I lived in Italy for three years and experienced many works of art, but the work of Bernini gives me chills to even think about. The craftsmanship is unequalled. The movement and strength of form, the balance of mannerism and naturalism is impacting from twenty feet away or a few inches. I certainly intend to make the trip. Much thanks to The Getty.