On December 7th, 1598, one of the greatest sculptors of all time was born in Naples. His name was Gian Lorenzo Bernini and in 1606 his father, who was also a sculptor, received an important papal commission and so moved his family from Naples to Rome.
A plaque in Via Liberiana (n. 24) marks the house in which Bernini lived from 1606 until 1642, and where he carved three of his most beautiful sculptures: The Rape of Proserpine, David, and Apollo and Daphne. All three works, which were commissioned by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, are on display in the Villa Borghese.
When Bernini eventually married he bought a house in Via della Mercede, where he lived for the rest of his long life, dying on November 28th, 1680, just days before his 82nd birthday. He was interred in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore.
On December 7th, 1898, to mark the 300th anniversary of Bernini's birth, an elegant plaque was unveiled outside the property. The bust of the great man was carved by the Roman sculptor Ettore Ferrari (1845-1931).
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 and
small-group walking tours
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