Ecstasy of Saint Teresa of Bernini
The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa is an artwork of Italian Baroque sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini. In this sculptural group are Santa Teresa accompanied by an angel having a divine ecstasy. The Saint’s face and gesture contrast with the movement of the blankets. Instead, the gesture of the angel is not assimilated at all. There is an upward movement accentuated by the divine rays. The figures are mainly made of white marble, and the sunlights made of bronze.
It's in the Cornaro chapel, and was made to be buried there the family. There is an altar in which a main group is in the niche, the hollow of semicircular floor open in the space of a wall to place him an urn or statue, which has a hole in top through which natural light enters. On the sides there are two balconies where are the family members who are attending the ecstasy.
Saint Teresa lo describes it in her book The Life of Teresa of Jesus. It says so:
"I saw an angel very near me, towards my left side, in bodily form, which is not usual with me; for though angels are often represented to me, it is only in my mental vision. This angel appeared rather small than large, and very beautiful. His face was so shining that he seemed to be one of those highest angels called seraphs, who look as if all on fire with divine love. He had in his hands a long golden dart; at the end of the point methought there was a little fire. And I felt him thrust it several times through my heart in such a way that it passed through my very bowels. And when he drew it out, methought it pulled them out with it and left me wholly on fire with a great love of God."
Bernini is a Roman man. He has a tendency to naturalism without idealizing. The sculptures have a clear didactic function language, where the Virgin and the Saints prevail. Figures have a desire to free movement, unstable composition, and a imbalance marked by violent lights and the presence of “speakers cloths” (paños parlantes), cloths with expressive value, predominantly diagonal.
In Baroque sculpture is broken the Michelangelesque balance. Baroque sculpture is subordinate to architecture, seeking the picturesque effect of the whole. Contributes to encourage architectural aesthetics, with plans and clothes that move with the resulting lighting effects. It is what is called integration of arts.
The term Baroque is not known exactly where it comes from, but it defines the opposition to classical art. The XVII century is the century of its spread throughout Europe. The XVIII century is partly baroque, partly rococo, which is heavily charged. It all started in Rome, Italy, and came to Latin America. At the Council of Trent used the arts to close more and levied upon the Protestants.
In conclusion, this sculpture is one of the most wonderful of Baroque art. It is an artwork that excites on sight, which gives you a sense of feeling at least a little of what Saint Teresa may be feeling at seeing her ecstatic face.It is in the Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria of Rome, in Italy.