Bernini: Apollon og Daphne - 1622 - 1625
Carrara-marmor - højde 243 cm.
Gian Lorenzo Bernini created an unprecedented masterpiece for Cardinal Scipione Borghese depicting the chaste nymph Daphne being turned into a laurel tree, pursued in vain by Apollo god of light.
This life-size marble sculpture, begun by Bernini at the age of twenty-four and executed between 1622 and 1625, has always been housed in the same villa, but originally stood on a lower and narrower base set against the wall near the stairs. Consequently anyone entering the room first saw Apollo from behind, then the fleeing nymph appeared in the process of metamorphosis: brak covers most of her body, but according to Ovid's lines, Apollo's hand can still feel her heart beating beneath it.Thus the scene ends by Daphne being transformed into a laurel tree to escape her divine aggressor.
The presence of this pagan myth in the Cardinal's villa was justified by a moral couplet composed in Latin by Cardinal Maffeo Barberini (later Pope Urban VIII) and engraved on the cartouche on the base, which says: Those who love to pursue fleeting forms of pleasure, in the end find only leaves and bitter berries in their hands.
In 1785, when Marcantonio IV Borghese decided to place the work in the centre of the room, Vincenzo Pacetti designed the present base by using the original pieces, adding plaster to the plinth and another cartouche bearing the Borghese eagle, sculpted by Lorenzo Cardelli.
Bernini: Pluto og Proserpinas / Proserpinas voldtægt - 1621 - 1622
Hvid marmor - højde 255 cm.
The large marble group of Pluto and Proserpina by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, shows Pluto, powerful god of the underworld, abducting Proserpina, daughter of Ceres. By interceding with Jupiter, her mother obtains permission for her daughter to return to earth for half the year and then spend the other half in Hades. Thus every spring the earth welcomes her with a carpet of flowers.
The group was executed between 1621 and 1622. Cardinal Scipione gave it to Cardinal Ludovisi in 1622, and it remained in his villa until 1908, when it was purchased by the Italian state and returned to the Borghese Collection. In this group Bernini develops the twisting pose reminiscent of Mannerism, combined with an impression of vital energy (in pushing against Pluto's face Proserpina's hand creases his skin and his fingers sink into the flesh of his victim).
Seen from the left, the group shows Pluto taking a fast and powerful stride and grasping Proserpina, from the front he appears triumphantly bearing his trophy in his arms; from the right one sees Proserpina's tears as she prays to heaven, the wind blowing her hair, as the guardian of Hades, the three-headed dog, barks. Various moments of the story are thus summed up in a single sculpture.
Bernini: Den hellige Thereses ekstase - 1545 - 1552
Hvid marmor - ca. 350 cm. høj
Bernini: David - 1623 -1624