Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Italian, 1598–1680)
Marble; H. 52 in. (132.1 cm)
Purchase, The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, Fletcher, Rogers, and Louis V. Bell Funds, and Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, by exchange, 1976 (1976.92)
Gian Lorenzo Bernini was the heroic central figure in Italian Baroque sculpture. The influence of his father, the Florentine-born Pietro, can be seen here in the buoyant forms and cottony texture of the Bacchanal. The liveliness and strongly accented diagonals, however, are the distinctive contribution of the young Gian Lorenzo. Although about eighteen when he made this work, he already displayed what would become a lifelong interest in the rendering of emotional and spiritual exaltation. The Bacchanal reveals the young Bernini's intensive study of bacchic subject matter.