• A Baroque Denouement: The Direct Influence of Theatre on Bernini's Artistic Work

      Plax, Julie; Francesco, Amelia Rose; Busbea, Larry; Ivey, Paul (The University of Arizona., 2017)
      Gian Lorenzo Bernini is the most prominent architect of the High and Late Baroque periods and there is a vast amount of scholarship addressing his architectural, sculptural, and pictorial works. However, studies on the other aspects of his life and work are underdeveloped, especially that of his long and dedicated involvement with the theatre. As scholars Robert Fahrner and William Kleb note in a 1973 essay published in the Educational Theatre Journal, “Art historians seem interested in it [Bernini’s theatrical activity] only in general, as an ‘influence’ on Bernini’s more important (and tangible) sculptural and architectural achievements. Theatre historians seem to have ignored it almost entirely.” This vast oversight, caused by the arbitrary separation of the visual and performing arts, has greatly hindered any scholarly attempts at a fully realized understanding of the Baroque master. In this thesis, I discuss the traditions and styles in 17th century theatre of Italy and France as well as Bernini’s involvement in and use of theatrical conventions in his sculpture and architecture. By tracing both his theatrical activity and artistic career, the connections become extremely evident, shedding new light on Bernini’s life and legacy.