Evonne Levy – Bernini, Materials, and Race


Evonne Levy – Bernini, Materials, and Race

Color photo of an ornate sixteenth-century bust of a man in carved stone set against a black background

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Bust of Scipione Borghese, 1632

This seminar is not an AAR event. Please visit biblhertz.it/events/37275/2643800 for more information.

That bronze and other black stony materials could be—but were not always—signifiers of the black body haunts the art of bronze casting through Cordier and Carpeaux and even to the work of Kehinde Wiley today. This talk looks at the traces of the beginnings of these same debates in the milieu of Gianlorenzo Bernini.

The use of bronze and other dark stones for portrait and figurative sculpture during Bernini’s lifetime suggests that some sculptural media could be ethnically or even racially coded. In the increasingly heterogeneous world of seventeenth-century Rome we can first detect a sustained conversation and tension around the racial signifying power of sculptural materials and the competing aesthetic ideas carried by the same materials.

Evonne Levy (2024 Resident) is Distinguished Professor of Early Modern Art at the University of Toronto.

This event can be followed online on Vimeo.

Giorno e ora
lunedì 27 maggio 2024
Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max Planck Institute for Art History
Via Gregoriana, 28
Rome, Italia