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Art as Theatre

written by Genevieve Warwick

Yale University Press | ISBN 9780300187069

Hardback – 224 pages


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While Baroque artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) is celebrated as a sculptor, architect, and painter, it is less known that he also was a playwright, scenographer, actor, and director. The Baroque period saw the rise of opera and ballet, as well as increasingly elaborate scenographic technologies for court and religious theatre. Bernini drew from this lexicon of theatrical effects, deploying light, movement, and the porous boundary between fictive and physical space to forge a language of Baroque illusion for both his scenographies and his sculptural ensembles. "Bernini: Art as Theatre" investigates the different types of cultural space for the staging of his art, from court settings to public squares and church interiors. Drawing parallels between the visual and theatrical arts, and highlighting the dramatic amplification of religious art in the period, this provocative study provides a model that can be extended beyond Bernini to enable us to reconsider 17th-century visual culture as a whole.

Artist: Gian Lorenzo Bernini

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