The sculpture of Aeneas, Anchises and Ascanius (1618-19), in the Galleria Borghese, was carved by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) when he was just twenty years old. It was long thought to be the work of his father, Pietro, who was also a sculptor, and many still argue that Bernini junior had help from Bernini senior.
The life-size sculpture depicts a scene from the second book of Vergil's Aeneid, in which the hero Aeneas escapes from Troy with his father Anchises and his son Ascanius. Aeneas shoulders his frail father, who carries two small statues, the penates (household gods).
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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