Gian Lorenzo Bernini

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Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680)

Bernini was the pre-eminent baroque sculptor, who worked chiefly in Rome. Among his best-known works are the "Ecstacy of St Theresa" in the Cornaro Chapel and the "David" at the Borghese Gallery.

Bernini depicts David in motion, in contrast to the famous statue of David by Michelangelo in which the character is preparing for action. The twisted torso and furrowed brow of Bernini's "David" is symptomatic of the baroque's interest in dynamic movement over high renaissance stasis.

Also adept at architecture, he designed the piazza (great square) and colonnade of St Peter's in the Vatican. One of the small baroque churches in Rome presents an ensemble of Bernini's work; Bernini was responsible not only for the architecture at Sant'Andrea al Quirinale but also the enormous statue of St. Andrew the Apostle over the high altar.