Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Louis XIV by Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini

'Louis XIV' by Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini
also spelled Gian Lorenzo Bernini or Gianlorenzo Bernini) 

I love the sculpted drapery. I can see material, even though this is clearly marble. I feel so easily fooled by the illusion and yet, I wouldn't have it any other way. The material is so skillfully depicted and I feel invited to touch. What a wonderful skill to give stone the appearance of fabric, flesh or hair. The hair in this sculpture seems stylized, it must be very difficult to carve hair. How could you carve a single strand of hair. Even when the hair is group together, it can not be clearly represented because hair is never so perfectly structured. I ask myself if this is a limitation of stone, even for the greatest of artists. The hair on this sculpture seems to compliment the drapery, in its curves and form. The face is framed with the intense detail and it gives the piece complexity. The face is not lost, instead it is enhanced because your eyes are guided to that area. The simple structure makes the face stand in contrast, to the rest of the sculpture. Louis XIV sat for hours while this was being created and believe it was time well spent. I would love to have seen this sculpture slowly take form, in the hands of the artist.