Bernini and the Roman Baroque: Masterpieces from Palazzo Chigi in Ariccia

October 14, 2021 - January 16, 2022

United Company - Legard Galleries

Exhibit Details


At the dawn of the seventeenth century, a new generation of artists emerged in Rome that would develop an artistic movement known as the Baroque period. Following the Renaissance, this eccentric new style spread rapidly through Europe and reached to the Americas. Bernini and the Roman Baroque: Masterpieces from Palazzo Chigi in Ariccia explores the genesis of this artistic movement. Through a selection of works from 40 artists, including 10 works by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, this exhibition illuminates Bernini’s influence and explores how it resonated across the Baroque movement.


At the beginning of the seventeenth century, artists definitively set aside the Caravaggesque model for a more transversal dialogue between the real and the supernatural, the superfluous and the necessary. After the death of the famous Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens, the debate between “naturalists” and “classicists” (respectively, followers of the styles of Caravaggio and Annibale Carracci) originated a new figurative language, namely the “Baroque,” which found in Gian Lorenzo Bernini its undisputed protagonist. Thanks to the masterpieces conserved in Palazzo Chigi in Ariccia, we can trace the spectacular path by which the “Baroque” became a universal vernacular expression.


Bernini and the Roman Baroque comprehensively maps the rich spectrum of genres and pictorial styles that characterize Baroque aesthetics. Its many luminous examples of these diverse categories—not only history painting but also alternative genres such as portraiture, self-portraiture and landscaping, as well as preparatory sketches used for large decorative frescoes—epitomize Baroque’s ultimate goal of elevating the viewer in mind and soul, communicating the moral and spiritual messages of the Catholic Church.


This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of Rose Marie Burriss with additional support by John and Joan Gregory & Don and Ginia Shawl.


Image featured: Carlo Maratti, called “Il Maratta” and Mario Nuzzi, called “Mario de’ Fiori”, The Summer, 1658-59, Oil on canvas, Palazzo Chigi, Ariccia.


Bernini and the Roman Baroque: Masterpieces from Palazzo Chigi in Ariccia is organized by Glocal Project Consulting and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC. The exhibition was curated by Francesco Petrucci, Director of Palazzo Chigi and Dominique Lora, Art Historian and Curator.


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