Gian Lorenzo Bernini (b. 1598), the leading sculptor of his age, and one of the greatest sculptors of all time, died on November 28th, 1680, a few days short of his 82nd birthday.
Bernini was interred, without pomp or ceremony, in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, to the right of the high altar. The Latin inscription reads: IOANNES LAVRENTIVS BERNINI / DECVS ARTIS ET VRBIS / HIC HVMILITER QVIESCIT (Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini, glory of the arts and of the city, humbly rests here).
The coat of arms and the additional inscription were added after 1746 when Pope Benedict XIV (r. 1740-58) conferred the status of nobility upon the Bernini family. The inscription reads: NOBILIS FAMILIA BERNINI / HIC / RESVRRETECTIONEM EXPECTAT (The noble Bernini family here awaits resurrection).
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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