Essays on Historicism in Artfrom Donatelfu to Picasso
Irving Lavin
Thf rul>l1Jwr gn1rfullv .. Jmo.,.,lnlgn ~ ~ "'Pf>O"
ol the ln>Utuu tor Ad\~ ScuJy. Pnoctton. md th< Una
FndnwiNnr 1:und ,1f thr llnt\'tt:PI)
or Cal1fonu:a
Unnrn11y nf Cilifomu Pm.
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Oxlul\l, EniilnnJ
© H)91 by Irving Lwin
I tbniry 111 l.onllrtss ur.:ilog111g tn Publitwon Dat:1
L.wm. lrvinj!. 19.1.7P.ut rrnrnl ~ys on h1Sl:OOC\$m m .:in from OoiutcUo to
Pie.we> / lrvmg Livm.
p. an.
(Uru's lectures: 6)
lndudu b1bhogr.1phtQJ rtfrrtncrs .:ind mdu.
ISllN ~• ~.1.u o0816 5 (doth)
I. \n .:ind hutory. .!. Histonasm. I. lld"- D. Smcs.
N1ulj8Lt8 1qq.1.
709- dc.:o
91 .t!.J-89
thr Unmd ~a of Amcria
6 5 4 l 2
l'hr p.lf>ff u.cJ m publaouon mcca dv mumnw:n
rrqwnrnc11u ol Anxnc:an N~uocul Sunc:brd for lnfom>.11.1011
!:iatll(o- Pmn..ncne-c of P.ipa foe Pnnud Llbar-, Mxnuls.
IJ9~8 ·1984 .
OonncUo's Bronze Pulpits m San Loren;tO and d1c Early Chm ua n Revival
David's Sling and M1chclangelo's Bow: A Sign of Freedom
Vasari on rhe Davul of Michelangelo
Giambologna's Nqmmc a l rhe Crossroads
Bernini's PorcrailS of No-Body
of St. Matthew: The ldemiry of the Protagonist
10 1
Appendix A. New Documents concerning the Anirnt Busts and the Tomb of
Pedro de Foix Monroya
Appendix B. Checklist of Preserved and Recorded Examples of the Four Lasr
Thuigs in the Wax Versio n by Giovanni Bernardino Azzolini
Bernini 's Image of the Sun King
Louis XIV : Bemm1
=Mimrand : Pei
Picasso's L1thograph(s) "The Bull(s)" and che History of Arc m Reverse
Synoptic Table of Picasso's BuJls
Fig. 177 tap) · lknuru. dutd pNJ<Cl for the Louvn.
from Blondt-1. 1751-,-6, vol. + pl ~)
Fig. 178 ' lefn. B«n1m. bwt ol Low.s XIV. MUS<c Nauoiul du
Chare;su dr VersaiUcs phnrn' Alman .!~)88 J.
~1g. 179 l nghtl.
lkm1n1. eqursimn monumtnc nt Louis XI\~
niter«!. by Giran:lon IO portray Mar,us Cun:1us. Vetsailles pho10:
Uocumcnmion phorogr:iph19Lu~ Jr l.1 Reunion Jes musc1·~
no11onaux 58 EN 1681).
Pu1s, >c counwnt vcr.; ccux Cjlll fo1s~icnr ct·rdc riutour du Roi. iJ a a1oucc:
"Qu'on nc me parlc Jc 11c11 •1uc so1r pcrn."
t. lvti
.t-<-11 .Lr. dir Ir j;;/.ndx 1«10 1 t1ll'i1.lll Jtll:Znmro Jn l"'"''P'
P:ml F~:m de Cmmtlou. J~I Ju IYYCIJ" J., Gnu.btt &nun m fmNr
+ and Otlobcr !:I.
is well known rhal Bernini made three ma1or
works for Louis XlV: the design for rebuilding rhc
Louvre, which brought him co Pam m chc summer
of l665 • Figs. 177. 180 ; the lite-size p<>nr.ut bw.r
of the kmg executed while he was in Pan:. ( Figs.
178, r8t ; Phi.le X): and the monumental equcsman
scacue execured afrcr his rcrum to Rome ( Figs. 179,
182: XI). Each of these works h:i.s been studied separ:irely. buc rhey have hardly been considered
Logerher or appreoacc:d for what chcy really m-.
equ1va1enc expressions tn different media of the concept held by one man of genius who was an :misc
of another who was a mon:irch. 1 I want co emphasize ar the ourset thac although I shall focus mainly
on the visual ideas through which Lhis basic conccpr
was expressed. it was not purely abstract or chcoreticaL On the contrary, the deca.iled diary of Bernini's
stay m Pans kepr by his escort, Paul Frean de
Chantdou. bears witness ro the warm pcrsonaJ relationship cstablished becween chc amsc and the king,
based on mutual respect and admiracion.2
The reasons for the lack of a unitarian vision
of rhe three works are complex. Each project had
its own dramatic and uiumatcly abortive hisrory.
The design for the Louvre became a scapegoat in
the rislng r1dl' of French cultural natit>na!ism. Jnd
rhe building ne\•cr rose above che foundarions. The
bust, which nt'Vcr received the pcde~tal Bernini
incended for 1t, was installed at Versadl~ rather
than rhe Louvre. The eque:.rnan monumenr mer
w1ch violent disapproval - including rhi> king's when ir reached Paris long after Bernini's death;
ir roo was ~em ro Versailles. where 1t was finally
m:.talled m chr garden, havmg been convened from
oi portr.ur inco an illusrr.mon of a rccondire episode
from Roman hLStory. Above all, I suspeet char the
d11Tcrenr media have obscured che common ground
of the three works. Wirhm cbe rmd1uon:il convcncions of arr ir is praccicaUy inconceivable chat archiceccural ::ind figural works mighr convey rhe same
ideas in chc same way-not just indin:ctly through
abstracc symbolism buL directly through mimec1c
rcprcsencanon. I believe chac rh1s was prcascly what
Bernini had in mind. This inrencion e.xplains rhe
paradox1caJ metaphor he expressed durmg his v1s1t
ro Paris: "buildings ac:c rhc portraits of che soul ol·
kings;" 3 and ic permits us co see his works for Louis
XJV as reAccrions of :i single. coherent imagr chat
was among his mosr original creanons.
Fig. 180 ( right).
Detail of Fig. 177.
Fig. 181 (abow).
Derail ofFig.178.
Fig. 182 (opposite, /qt). Derail o/'Fig. 179 (phoi.o: Docu mcnwrton phorographiciuc de la Rfo1iion des musees narionaux 79 EN
Fig. 183 (opposftt, right). Sun emblems of Louis XIV before 165J.
,·ngraving (from Mcncsrricr, 1693, 4).
Bernini's Image qf the Sun King
The King, the Sun, and the Earth
The primary componenr of Bernini's image of the
king was the p.reemincnr metaphor of Louis's reign,
the sun - in conformity with the millennial tradiriori of thli' orims augHsti, "the rising of the august
one," idenrifying the ruler with the sun. 4 T he richness, frequency, and programmatic nature of the
theme are illustrated in an engraving published in
Claude Frans:ois Menestrier's History of the King of
1689 ( Fig. 183); the emblems linking Louis with Lhc
sun in the period from his birth to his majority in
t65i are gathered in a design thar itself forms a
composite solar emblem. 5 In 1662 Louis adopred as
his official device the sun as a face seen high above a
spherical earth, with the famous mocto Nee .Pluribus
bnpar~'not unequal co several ( worlds)," thar is,
capable of illuminating several ochers (Fig. 184).6
Bernini had had ample experience with such solar
imagery long before his visir to Paris. T he sun had
als<) been an emblem of the Barberini pope. Urban
VID. one of Bernini's greatest patrons, and Bernini
was intimaccly fam iliar wi th <In Lmport:im document
of this association, a frescoed vault in the Barberini
palace in R.ome, executed by Andrea Sacchi around
t630 (Fig. 185).7 Divine Wisdom, with an emblem
of che sun at her breast, appears enthroned in the
heavens above the sphere of che earth. Bernini himself had exploited the image in the allegorical sculpture of Time discovering Truch, which he began
roward the end of the 164o's in response to slanderous arr.acks then being made on his reputation ( Fig.
186).8 Truth is a splendid nude whom a figure o(
Farher Time, flying above. was to discover, literally
as well as figuratively, by lifring a swarh of drapery.
The figure of Time was never executed, but che
whole concl!ic drew on rhe traditional Lhemc of
Time rescuing his daughLer, who had been secreted
by her great enemy Envy in a dark cavern. Time was
shown raising up T rurh from the earth, represented
as a craggy peak below (Fig. 187). T his tradition is
alluded co by the rocky base on which Bernini's
T rurh sits, wirh one foot resting on the globe and
an emblem of rJ1e sun in her hand. The joy of the
occ~tsion is illusmmd by the radiant smile on Truth's
face, the physiognomical equivalcnr of the sun's own
benefic~nL spltndor.
Bernini's Image of rhr Swr Kurg
Fig. 184 ( right). Medal of Louis XIV. 1663. American Numismndc Sociccy, New York.
Fig. 185 (above). Andrea Sacchi, allegory of Divine Wisdom.
Pnlazzo Barbcnni, Rome ( phoco: lsticuco Ccnrr.tlc per ii Cacalogo
e la Documencazione E72392 ).
Bernini's image of tbc Sun Kiug
Tbt Palau Portrait
Roman ant1qu1rv offered chrct notable instances of
solar imagery in palaces. The imperial palace par
exullenu, built m1t1ally by Augustus on the Palnr:ine
hill, included :i Temple ol" Apollo crowned by J
resplendent gilded sculpwrc
the Chariot of rhe
Sun (er. r igs. 208, 209). Solar imagery was :l.SSOCl ated with the building itself in r.he revolving rncubr
dimng haJI of Nero's Domus Aurea and in the hc:lVmly, htgh-columned dwelling of Apollo described m
Ovid's ,\.1.ttamorphoscs. Following these sources, Louis
Le Vau and Charles Le Brun had introduced the
metaphor at Vaux-le-Vicomte, che great residence of
Louis's finance m1msccr Fouquet, in the oval salon
and in che design for ics vaulc decoration ( Fig. 188 ).
Bernini admired Le Brun's composit1on when ic was
~h o wn to him in Paris exccpt rhac, the design being
oval. "if che palace of the sun represented in ir had
the same (orm. or indeed were rou11d. it might have
been beitcr suited to th e palace and to the sun irself."9
The allusion had, in rum, been introduced mco
designs for the new Louvre proposed by Louis Le
Vau and his brother Fram;o1s shortly before Bernini
came co Pam. Lows included an oval salon as tht
Fig. 186 ltp 1
lkmin1, Truch. Glllm.;
Rome phuto
~7CY'JO 1
i:1g. 187 ( n.11h1).
1936, fig. ~).
fon~ ~scuing
l'rucl1 ( Willaerr. 1536. from S:iicl.
&n11111$ lmagt of tht Su11 Kmg
Fig. 188. Charles Le Brun, 111c Palace of chc Sun, drawing.
Louvre, Paris ( photo: Documemation phocographique de la
R~union des muse cs n~cion~ux 68 DN p6o).
Bernini's f mage of the Sun King
centerpiece of che ease wing ( Fig. i89), and Fran~ois
included a relief showing Apollo in his chariot, as
well as the Nu Plurib14s lmpar motto, in the decorations of the central pavilion (Fig. 190). Bernini must
have been aware of Louis Le Vau's Louvre projecr,
which was sent to Rome a.~ an example for several
fralian architects who were to comment and submit
designs of rheir own. The two projects Bernini sent
to Paris before his visit develop rhe oval motif into
powerful curves rhat dominate the designs ( Figs.
191. 192); significantly, he emphasized the SunApollo allusion in the architectural form of the
projects, while evidently excluding any such imagery
from d1e decorations of the facades. IO
Bernini's distinctive approach to the problem
began to emerge in a series of dramatic developments ac the outset of his visit. From his first
inspection of the Louvre, on June 3, 1665, the day
following his arrival in Paris, he concluded that
what had already been builr-a considerable portion of the palace - was i.nadequare. 11 A[ their first
Fig 189 (abaw). Lou!S Le Yau, proje<:C for the Lou,-n. dr:iwtng.
Musct du Louvre, Par!S (phoco: Documemauon photogr.iph1que
de la Reunion des musees nacionaux, Reccui l du Louvre I, fol. ;).
Fig. 190 (lrjt). 1:n.n~~ Le Yau, projccr for rhc Louvre. cngrnvmg. B1bliochequc Nationale. P~ris..
&rrur11's forage of tht
l~ig.191 . Bcmim, ~ pn>Jta lor IM l.ouwc. dnwmg. Mush
du l.ouYn". PW ( phoco.: Docwncnui1on ~ ~ li
Rfunion des muscu NOOn.iur, R«tuil Ju Louvu. L fol.,.).
Fig. 19? 6o«1M1).
Bumn1 -onJ pro1ca !Or dx LouYn. .m,.
ll'llt· 'l~uoiulmwcum <icodcholm.
8m11n1's lmagr iJf tbr ~11tt K1t1.g
mt('rv1ew. on Jun(' 4 . Bernini Jnciciparcd :.omi: of
ch.: allusions he would mcorpor.acr in his own
d(':;1gns. reilmg Louis char he had "seen rhe paJacc:.
of rhc l.'mpi!ro~ and pop.: and rhosc of :.ov.:r.:1gn
pnnces locared on rhe route from Rome ro Pans.
bur rhe kmg of France. toJa}· needed somerhmg
greater and more magmhccnc than all rhar." 1 ~
He proposed co demolish rhe whole building and
start over. a dr:ist1c soluc1on to which th(' kmg
acceded only reluctantly. Dunng rhe next five days,
however, Bernini changed h15 mind. On Jun(' 9 he
proposed co keep che existing structure and employ
the ground floor as the base for rhe colossal order
he envisaged for hi:. own project. ln parr, rh is
change of heart was a concession ro pracrical necessity and fiscal responsibillly; 1•1 bul surelr it was also
monvared by a new solution. one thar would ass1mi·
lace the Rat facade of rhe traditional French chareau.
resting on the foundauon in J moat. to rhc image
porc:rayed by Louis's solar emblem. 1.;
The project Bem1111 olTered the king on June .?O
(see Figs. 177· 180, rcprcscnrcd tht' royal device an a
profound and urcerlr novel wa>•-not in geometrical design or decorauvc sculpcurcs buc m rhe \'er\/
fuhric of rhe srructurc. The cbration has chree main
levels: the colossal order that comprises the two
upper stories, the ground scory wirh fine horizoncaJ
courses of drafted scone ma:;onry, and a mas.~1vc.
irregular foundarion level chac would have been v1s1ble m an open moat. The frequent references to ir
in Chancelou's diary show how important this foun·
dation was to Bernini. 15 He first presented his project
Lo Louis in dr:iwings that showed rwo alternative
ways of creating Lhc lowest level, one with ord[nary
ruscicacion, chc ocher with J rock-like foanarion
thar he descnbcd as an cnurely new idea. When the
king chose rhe latter, i:ven though ic would be morr
cLJiicult co execute, Bernini was ddighced and remarked thac few people, even among professionals.
had such good judgment. 16 He 111s1sred on prov1dmg detailed designs himself. on cxecunng a model
so chat rht' workmen m1ghc sec whac he meant, and
on supervising the work on the foundarions to
make sure rhar dle workmen would do it properly.
The reason for his c:tn: was chat in carrying our rhe
rusticanon Bem1111 intended for the Louvre, the
workmen would be funciioning more .l.S :>culpto~
than ~ ordinan· stoncmobOn:..
Rusucanon. which had a long h1scon. \\'38 c:Lscus:.ed and 1r~ va.neu~-s 1llusrr:icrd m rhe m1d-:;1xtrcnrh
cencun• b\· Serl.10. m h1:. treau:.c on ;irchirecruIT
Fig. 19~1' ,- Tradmonall~" although the scones wrrc
given J more or l~s rough ~urfacc. chc~· were treated
equally. and each scone or course of srones was
clearly separated from rhr nrxc ~o chac J more or
less regular paccem resulted. fh1s kmd of ruscica·
uon could become very rough indeed. especially
when it was used co evoke primitive or decaying
srruccures. as in Wendel Dicmrlin's book of architrctur:il fonrasics ( 1598); but the individual units
remained separate and distinct (Fig. 194). Bernini's
"natural" rustication (chis cc rm seems mosr effecuvdy to distinguish 1r from the cradmonal "arti·
ncial" rustication) had it.s roots an arcific1ally created seccings-gardcn founcams ( Fig. 195) and
grottoes, for example, which wrre often conceived as
:trtful :.l.Cc1denrs in an arti.ficiaJ world 18 - and m such
temporary decorations as fesuval Boars I Fig. t96) or
rhc:llrical stage scb. especially tha:.e depicting rhe
underworld ( Fig. 197' . Steps were even raken m che
s1xceenrh cenrury co mcroduce irregular rusci01rion
1mo rhe permancnr urban environment. as m rhe
house of rhe amst Federico Zuccari m Florence
(1579) where rough-cue scones. carefully arranged,
uecorate the facade (Fig. 198). 1\1 The stones remain
separate and distinguishable, however. fragments
from another world introduced not as srrucruraf elements bur as precious fragmrnrs, like chose from
antique sculptures ch::it wcrr displnycd symmetrica lly
on rhe walls of conremporary villas and palaces
(Fig. 199).
By and large rusrtcat1011 since thl' Reoa1ssanct'
had been understood in three ways. From rhe fourtecnrh century social value had been attached to
the techruque because ic mvolved more l.abo~ and
therefore expense. rhan dressed scone. 20 Ic had also
acqwred an expressive meanmg when Alberti spoke
of 1rs capacity ro inspire awe and fear- when used
m city walls. for txamplc.21 Finally. rusm::mon had
metaphorical significance as an allusion to rhe work
o( nalUre, and rh1s was its meaning m sineenthcemury gardens and other nonarchitectural comexts. 22
Bm1i11i's l111agteftbrS1w K111;,
.Le prime opcc Rllllicht:furoo famin qudlo modo, cioc pcnidi pieacabboz.zuc c-0fi grolfamcmc· an
le: foe c;;imcrulforc fono far~ s;on fomma diligc:ntia. .
Dipoi coQ alquanr:t piu dilicatezu comp:irrirono i
quadri con quell-a piano. chc: sti Jiuice: faccndogli
wn piu dili{;cti:i lauorw, ~ apprdfo gli aegmoli:ro qlldli Sp1goli lllcrQciaci per piu oruamc:n•o .
Al tri Architetti uolendo imirare cliaman ti lauorati; tecero in qudlo modo lauorandogli con
piu politcua ,
- .. ....,.... .
Er cofi ell ed in era A~ uenuto uariando ul opera : quando ad Imitation di aiam.antc in taUl>la p~aa,e quan
do con maggior rilicuq,G come fi qeqc: qui fo cto diffegnato.
Alcuni ~Itri Architotti han 0 o uoluro nfar maggiordilicatezza,e piu ordin:ito compartimc:nto, npn •.
n1rq ha hauuto origine d~ l'optra Rullica,aochora che comnnemete ft dice :i piite-di«liafu
Fig. 19J. Sc-b~11~no Sulio. v~nc11c~ of rusri.-~trd masonr'>' t from
Sulio. 1561. opp. p. 17 ..
fag "H·
\\.'rnJrl D1c-mrlm. fanl.'l>l1i." porul from D1cttttlin.
1~9t\.pl • .:.4 ~
h~ IQS. founwnol Mowll P~. ~ m dv cigh•
tttnc.h cmiur)· Fonnah- \'ab Aorcncr fiom Uw.
Fig. 19b I oppoo11r, t~p
Salv;ulnr1, 1616),
hg. 1Q7 'Pl"1''" NII"'"). ~<n.-1>l 1hr unJuworld. cnga>'tn!I,
Imm <.i Ru.p1ill1us1 ). 16i+ pl. 2
t 52
Bernini's Image of the Sun King
effect, merged chis urepresenc:acional''
tradmon w1rh chac of rustication
a proper archi-
cectural mode. ln doing so he broughc co a mutually
dependent fn1icion che three associarive aspeccs of
rustication - the nobility of a magnificently c:u:vcd.
racher tha n merely constructed, foundatio n; t he
or awesome unnssailabiliry co all bur dw
m ost pen.evcring and virtuous; and the acrnal depiction of a "natural" form, the Mountain of Vinue,
that served a structural as well as a mei:.aphonol
purpose. Sigmficancly. Bermni cLd not refer to his
brainchild by the cechmol cenn rustiiation, bur inscead
called 1c a
scogbnu, or rocky mass.
Bernini had long since t:iken the gianr seep of
crcanng coherenc uregular rock formations and
using such wild, nam ral art works as major mo nume nts in the heart of the city. 1n the Four R ivers
fow1cain, the cem erpiece of rhe refurbished P iazza
Navo na, where lnnocenr X ( 1644-55) built his
family palace, an arcilic1al mountain island supports
an obelisk ( Fig. 200). Here, coo, drawings show how
carefully Bernini planned Lhc "awdenral'' forms. and
the sources emphasize his own parricipacion in the
201 I•.?J Because the obelisk was
acrual carvmg rFig.
Fig. r98 ( Oppct111t, boriom )· Fedcnco Zuccal'l, rhc :unsr's houlC. Ffor
cncr ( photu: /\l111nn l9i.8 r).
Fig. r99 (opp1mu1t~p). Johannes B11ur, vi~wol'thc Vi lla l\orghes('.
Galleria Borghcs~. Rome (phoLO: A11dc1"son io88o ).
Fig. 200 uop )• lkmini. f-ountmn of chc Four RJv~rs. Rom('
(phoco: Ander.on 400 ).
lknuru, studies for rht rounLml of!he Four R"~
fig. 201 .:bcn"
en. Jr:1w111g. Mu.<um Jn- bildrnden ..:un.,1c. Lc1p.r1g,
Bm11m's lm"g< of tht Sun King
lmagt t>f
.,, .
• thr ,J,.ltn K111g
regarded as one of .mtiqrnly's foremosl solar :.ymbob, the founain ic:sdf has the same emblemacic
serue that concerns us here.
A few years later lkm1m mcroduced ch1S idea of
a rock-likt foundauon mLo a properly architectural
conccx:c m the facade of chc palace. known from its
location a:. rhc Palazzo di Moncccirorio, which he
designed for rhc same pop~s ntccc and her;
here he used natural msrication on che basemc111
story, beneath a colossal order of pilasters (Fig~. 20.!.204 ):?4 Bernini may have adopted the natural form
in the rustication of rhe new for the pupc'i.
niece to t'cho the mouf of rhc Pi3Z7..a Navona founcain. There may ha\•e been other rtasons as well.
The b<l!.c of the Piazza Navona fountain ponrayt'd
a mouncaan. after all. and the new palace was s1cuaccd on a prommem:e, the Mons Ciracorius, char
had been .10 1mporcam cencl."r of urb.m Life in .mm:iuicy..?S The ide:t of che Louvre as a palace meraphor1cally on a mouncain top may have gcrminau.~d hen\
Jn the Roman palace chc rnscicariM is conflncd co
the strir~ bcn<'ilth rhc mlf crmust pi!i rs of the ordc1'.
ol pilasters. These powerful ,1n1111atcd bases diu~
appear as l'9uivalencs in "livmg" rock of the atlanlcan figures rhat :1upporr chi.' balcony from
wl11ch the pope wouJd have greeted the populace
lf1g. 105 .
Although chcrl." 1s no documentary evtdFncr rha1
Bernini planned a piazza beforr the new Moncec1corio
palace. the monumental encrance and balcony would
~carcdy have made sense w1rhou1 one. Perhaps becaIDc
of :.uch a plan he 6rsr had chr 1d1."a. to which we
shall return, of movmg che column of T rapn co
form a p:m wich rhar of Marcm Aurdius. 26 The
place 111 front ol the Monrccitorio palacl.' would
have been the obvious choice fo r rhe new location,
especially becnuse nearby port1ons of a third column
were preserved, that of Antoninus Pius. ln fact, dw
name of che :trca was thought co have derived from
the rolon11a matorra, so called because it was suppo~­
edly used to d1SSrni.inare public decrccs.Zi In scudy
mg the ancient columns, Bernini would ha,•e becomt'
aware nor onh• of thetr Chnst1anL7.at1on- co be discussed ptt:.end) -buc also of che unresrorecl cond1Lion of che Aurel1an column, which had long been
confused with the column of Antoninus. The original facing nf rhe base had bl.'cn hacked away, leaving
only the rough-hewn substructure, rhe condirion
recorded in 111Jny early dcpicmms. Bl'rnini's pibsrm•
on rusticarcd Hnps wcrl.' perhap:. 111rcndcd 10 l.'vokc
the dcst:rO\'Cd column of Monccc1cono by echomg
rhc Aurclian column m 1e:. ruinous :.t.itc, rhc
memory of which was st1U vcrv much ali,·e. Indeed,
the rd:n1onsh1p \\3!> cv1dt-nc.h appreciated b~ onl'
Bm11m J lmagt oJ tht Sim
J... mg
1 5)
Fig. .zoo ( OfPOJ•lt • Juhann Mt")·tr rht Youngtr. vrrw of PrizTA
Culonm1 (from Sandran. vol. .?. 1665-79, pl. XXll~
&mi11i's lmagt of 1ht 51111 Kmg
E.~u1lmu:. .•1
juxc:apo~ed rhc unresrorcd
column wich the comer of Bernini's unfin1!>hcd pal
ace in an engraved view of rhl' Piazza Colonna pubI1shed 111 1679 ( Fig. i.06). 211 Jr" .t rl'forence co chc
decrepiL triumphal colu mn is rhus incorporated inro
the f.1cade or· chc building. it may serve, along widi
die supporcmg atlantes, ro suggesLthe subse1v 1cncc
of Lhe power of anci9uiry to the New 01:.pcnsanon
represented by the pope.
The pair of rnlossaJ figures Ranking the doorway
was anothrr motif chat Bem1na transferred from the di Montearono co che Louvre. In Rome
chcy were N:.ubjugaced" co an ecclcsiascical context.
whereas in rhc secular domain ac Paris thc.>y haw
become great guardian figures of Hercules carrying
dubs (cf. Fig. 180) . Hercule) had long been ~t fovocicc antctype of the French kings. and sculptured
depictions of H ercules :ind his Labors accompany
the Apollo imagery that decorates the easr Cacade of
the Louvre in the project of Fr:m~ois Le Yau (!>cc
Fig. 190 J. Girlv in the century. in the anci9u.'.lriJ.n
Giacomo Lauro's fanciful rccrcat1on of t:hc facadl· of
che Golden House of Nt'm, :.1tuaced on chl' Mom.
artist who pointedly
p.tir of frcc:.r.tndmg :.r.nuc:. of Hcr•ulc)
with dub' had been pla,cd bdotl' tlw ccncral M'l:rion Fig. .!.(l7 . !" In Bcrnin1 ':. Louvre. the figures
flank chl pt>n.11. .md chc\ ... on rock\ b.i.:.4.'s 1m
rhes<" :.upport!t. p. 177 bd1>w ; like the Jre~~.,.J
masonry bd11nJ them, rhc figure~ tnt•d1ate b..:twccn thl
rustic.ncJ foundarton below and thl· actual dwdlin~ 1)1'
rhc king ;ibovc. In a lc rn~r w rim~n from Pans, Bernin1 's Jc~i:nbc:. the ligu1v:. .1:. guardian:. of rhc pal
ace. s1gni~·mg fonllude and labor. l-le 'luorcs Bernini
as cxpbmmg char I lcrcule:. ''b~· nw.'.lns of his forcirudt·
and labor 1:. a portrall of vinur, which resides on tht
mountain of labor. char is. the rock\• mass: and he,...,...,
rhac whoc\cr wishes co res1dl in chis palace ml!.)£ p:b)
through virtue and labor. This thought and all~gory
greatly pleased His Ma1cm·. co whom it seemed co
h:l\'e grandeur and scnrennousncss.''·111
Bernm1's staremenc provides the key to the uniry
of fo rm ,tnd 111caning in rhl' prujccL, which incorporared rwo csscnr1al elemen ts of the archircctur:tl heritage of ;inriquity. ont' nffi>cring dw design. rhe orhcr
the s1gn1tlcancc of the buildrng. rhe Louvre proposal:. echo ~uch foacures ~ rhc mulmmricd facadl· of
opea arcade~. rhc curved arnum, and c.he ru:.ucared
base chat appear in certain ideaJ reconstructions of
che pabce of rhe Roman emprrur.. on rht• P:ilarme,
nocabh chos<' by Onofuo Panvimo and Giacomo
Lauro <rigs. .?.08, z.09).31 Bem1m musr also havr
been struck bv the images rhac :.howed the palace
in ics contemporary rumous srace amp the rocky
promoncory ( r:ig. 2 10 ).32 This associ.1t1on, in turn,
may have encouraged Bernini to extend his rocky
b:isr to rhc whole building, so .is co underscore tlw
Louvre's rolr as a modem remcarnauon of Lhe
ancient imperial palace, the embodiment of die vcn
name for a royal dwcllmg, dcnvC'd from the Mon~
Furthennore. Brmini's rxplanauon of h1:. project
as expn:ssmg a moral-arch1tecrura.l progression arucularcd a concept implicic m another 11lusrrious
Rom:m scn1cture, rhc double temple of Honor J.nd
Vu-rue-so arranged char one had co pass through
che one ro t-e:ich the ocher. B~rnm 1 was cerrninly
familiar with the reconstruction by Giacomo Lauro
(seep. .1.80 :tnd Fig. 240 below), whose commcnrs
on the monument he seem s to have drawn on for
che undcrl)'mg ethical rone as well J.S sever:al rhemcs
echoed in hi$ own ideas for the Louvre. L1uro
quotes Sc. Auguscme co che effect that m the mgeniou:. di:.po~illon of chc umplc rhe .'.lnc1cnt RomJn"
8m11111's lmagt ".} tbt S1111 K111g
&num's image of 1/x Sun King
v-,...,..a_-,.,......w.,_-___.,.....-'"--"-•Ui-t- • • ...._._~..._...__ ,
~ t. - ~.
, _~·-..J"-1"4./+J--£,;.
hg. i.07 ( ~pf0$ut l~p) G1:11;um<1 L.1um, "lrros Dun1u• Aurea
from Lturo. 161:?-il. pl 101
hg. l~ ~»IC,
Mt.,.. ,
l)nctno P.ummu. P.a.l.:mnr fMLxr .wJ
C1m1> \haim~ tlum Panvu110. 16.,+2. 49
l 1g• .1.09 (to?J·
M:wmw. r lrom L.lurn,
l1g. 110
I Jun.>. P..J~unr plla\:c Jnd C1rCtU
pl. 9$).
l:.nrnnr l>ul'<IX. P;JA1rn1· p.:il.xc .and C11DJ
M.u1mus ( fmm Duf'CT.\C, 1021.
rt. Op
Bm11111's /magt o; tbt !J1111 Kur.i:
Fig. 2u ( righ1) . Federico Zuccari. The Mounrain
Honor. and Fame. Palazzo Zucc:u:1, Rome (phmo:
Hcreti:ina l)uu19).
rig. i12 ( oppome). Bernini. busr oF Fr:incesco I d'J::m. G:d leria
faLensc. Modena (pho[o; Alinari 15669).
"caught chat no one should be honored, or desire honors, who has not entered and long dwell with profit
in the virtues. . . . Princes should take this occasion ro
consr.rucc in r.heir spirits similar temples of honor and
virtue ... exactly as did a number of ancienr emperors ... who never would accept the ride ofMaximus
if they had noc first earned it through virtue," as did
Trajan and Marcus Aurelius, whose vinuous actions
h:tvc been "preserved unharmed against the violcnct• of
rime, war, and public calamities, as one may understand from the most beautiful columns constructed
in i:heir honor" (on the columns sec pp. i76-82).33
Bernini must also have drawn on the one important
precedent for rclattng 1.his idea of a moral progression in architecture ro that of a physical progression
to the top of n rocky peak: ,1 fresco made about
1600 by Federico Zuccari to decorate his own home
Bernini's Image
of the Sun
in Rome ( Fig. 2II) in which the rwo m nples, linked
in curn to the temple of Fame, are perched on a
high promontory reached by a tortuous path.34
In sum, Bernini developed a whole new mode
of architectural expression at che Louvre co convey
Louis XIV's adapracion of the cradirional oriens
augitsti theme co himself as the Sun King. Bernini's
project created a summa of the major ancient Roman
"solar" palaces, merging chem wirh a ~uasi-religwus
notion of ethical achievement expressed through
archirecrure. These rradil'ions. in cum, he associated
with che equally venerable metaphor of the ruler as
Hercules reaching the summit of the Mountain of
Virrue. The visual, s1ructuraJ, and meraphoricaJ
basis for these rclarionships was Bemini's beloved
scoglim1 the inventie>n of which, I am convinced. was
che underlying motivation for his sudden willingness
Lo abandon his earlier plans. This rcvoluuonary
form enabled him lo envisage in his design for rhe
Louvre che powl!r of vmue and order to mumph
over brute chaos.
DY B11st Ponm11
The bust of che kmg sec Figs. 178, i81; Plate X 1:.
a ··1tvmg" mcc:iphor embodying Lwo major theme:..
rhe royal medall1c deV1ce and rhe imagery of Alex:mder rhe Grear. In J wnse. che merger simply \'C:.rcd
in Louis XIV the ancient conil:mon of Helios and
Alexander chat had been rhe mainspring of chc Sun
King rr-.idic1on icself ' 5 rhcsr references help lO
expl::iin some of rhe work's conspicuous dilferenccs
from its nearcsr anccsror. Bcrmni 's portrair of
cesco I d'Esre. duke of Modcnn, of d1c early 165o's
(Fig. l t2). Louis's great wig engu lfs his head with
lw1sung lambent curls rh:u an· deeply undercut by
corruscaring drillwork; rhey recall Alexander's "Jeonmc manr:· and. m an uncanny way. rhcy suggest
the flaming locks of rhe sun god. HeLos ~ig. 21) •
The kmg's furehead nscs from heavily padded brows.
:ind lhe vigorous sideward rum of rhe head and
glance has a distinct upward cast suggesrive nor of
arrogance bul of a fan.1ghLcd. ardent, and noble h.111-
rhac is remm1scenL of che ancient porrrait cype
of rhe divinely inspired ruler. Bcrmm commenced
on borh rhcse details, observing thar "rhe head of
rhe kmg has something o( char of Alexander, particularly the forche:id ,ind rhl' :11r of' chc face."3<• In
odier words, Bernini ~aw the f1:aturt~s of Alexander
m those of die kmg, and he repond more than
l3m11111's 1111agr
of thr S1111 l\111g
011ce chat people saw this resemblance in the busr
itself visitors. he said, were reminded of the medals
and chc "beautiful heads'' of Alex:mdcr.37 An anciquarian and colleCLor of medals, Pierre Seguin, also
noted rhe srrong Alexandrinc "air" oF Lhe bu~r,
which "Lllmrd co the side as one sees in the medals."38 Since the numismatic portraits of Alexander
chat can be identified with certainry arc all in profile,
the larrer reference was probably to Greek coins of
Helios with a three-quarter face or t:O a rare Roman
rype in whid1 the head is turned up and to the side,
and the neck and part: of the chest are included to
convey the torsion (Fig. 213).39 The beaudful heads
must be rhe famous sculptures in Florence (Fig. 214)
and Rome ( Pig. 215)1 then universally identified as
Alexander. 40 The Roman version was associaLed
wirh the group popularly known as rhe Pasquino;
Bernini admired d1is pathetically mucilatcd work.
which was rhoughr to portray the death of Alexandci:. more chan ;iny other ancienr sculprure:H Both
the head and the movemenL of the figure-one
Btrnint's image of tbc Smr King
shOlrlder forward in the direction of the glance, clw
arm wrapped round the body in a powerful conrrapposto-recall Alexander as he had been port1·ayed in a paintmg by Giulio Romano ( Fig. 216).
Giu lio himself had adopred the pose of the Greek
hero from that of j1Jl.ius Caesar in Tiuan's series
of the Twelve Roman Emperors (Fig. 217).42 In
Bernini's sculpture the implied reversal of the lower
right :irm checks rhe forward rhrnsr suggested by
the movement of d1e upper Lorso and the drapery, a
notable difference from the d'Esre bust whose significance wiJl emerge when we consider the equestrian portrait of Louis.
The cxtraordinai.y drapery and Bernini's special
concern char it seem to be flowing freely in ihe
wind may also be understood in the same contexc
of exultation and exakarion alllmtica. 43 The use of
drapery LO ''carry" a portrait bust was derived from
an ancient funereal tradirion in which a portrait of
the deceased was placed agairm a cloLh of honor.
Bernini adapted this device for certain memorials of
Fig. i13 ( opposiu, left).
Helios, denarius of Vespasian. British
Museum. London.
Fig. .t14 l opposut, right). "Tht Dy111g /\lcrn1der." Gallena drgli
Uflizi. florencc (photo: Brogi 3223).
2 15
{left). Coloss:U head
o( A l cx~nder-Hdm~.
C3p1tol ino. Rome ( phoco: Alinari 5972).
the 163o's and 164o's, rransfoi;ming che hanging
doth into a billowing swath of drapery (Fig. 218). 44
The drapery of Francesco d'Este actually Butters
upward and wraps around the torso, Christo-like, so
as co suggest the lower silhouette of a portrait bust
wafted imo the empyrean. Bernini surely devised
this mixLure of objectivity and metaphor LO give
form to a c.rain of political thought, particularly
scro11g among the Jesuir:s, in which the ideal ruler
was conceived as a hero, both human and divine.
The concepL of rhe monarch as a demigod-like
prince-hero had been formu laLed with respect co
Francesco 1 himsel£ shortly after his death in i658,
in a commemorative volume by a leading Jesuit
Modena, Domenico Gamberti, char actually celebrates Bernini's portrait of che duke (Fig. 219). 45
The sculpture rhus represents what it is, an honorific
monument of heroic apotheosis. In the bust of
Louis, Bernini carried this conundrum a significant
step further. Louis's drapety gives no hint of rhe
lower edge of the torso, so rhac rhe figure appears co
be what the sculpture represents, a living human
being. Moreover. the clorh blows freely Lo rhe side,
and Louis's cloak becomes a magic carpet, rhe sarcorial c9uivalenr of the cloud fonn:uions above
which the emblematic sun appears Lo Boat.
111e king's device and rhe imagery of Alexander
also coincided in rhe rreacmenc of rhe pedesral. a
final point of difference from the d'Este portrait.
Chanrelou records thar Bernini intended Lo place
the bust of the king on a terrestrial globe of gilded
and enameled copper bearing rhe ingenious inscription Picciola Basa, "small"; the globe reseed on a
copper drapery emblazoned wit:b trophies and virtues ( ihesc last were essential aLtribun:s in Bernini's
conception of rhe ideal ruler, as we shall see); and
che whole was set on a platform. l t was a common
device to portray a monarch perched on an earthly
sphere; a specifically French typology had been established by images in which Henry JV was shown thus,
borh as a standing figure and as an equestrian mounted
on a rearing Pegasus. 46 There was also an ancienr
.8mm1i's ltt1agt of rhr Sun Ki11g
I 1g, .!16 .:bo.w 1!f1
lmthu AltH11.ln /Or {;tur
J'An tt .i'Hmom·. (;.,,,..,~
-"''•Y. ~w
hg. !18 nghi
lkinin1, Cc11or.t1•h ot "iuor M:u'i.l l{;i~1. S,inr,,
MJ11a wpr:i Mmfl\.1, Rumr l l'huw. l'uturo ( mtr.ilr l"'I ti
Catalogo rt f.i L>ocumc111.1L1onr. Rome 1~54086;
.!19 • oppot1u 1.
lkrnuu \
G.1mbcrt1, 1659, lru•ill>ptrO:c).
of hJnct~.:o I J'bt< I f111111
Lradirion of portrait bus t~ mounted on ,1 ( cebc1.d)
globe to suggest apotheosis (Fig. 220) . A bustmonument of rhe emperor Claudius included ~
pedesra! with a globe and military spoils char in rhe
mid-sevenceench cencu ry had been placed on a
sculptured platform ( Fig. 221). Bernini may have
been inspired ro apply these ideas to Louis by
anorhcr inventton
Li: Brun's, perhaps again for
Fouquet. I refer to a tapestry door covering, or porrihe, in which the crowned face of the sun shuies
above rhe arms of France and Navarre; be.low, a terrestrial globe tests on a panoply of milirary spoils
(Fig. l22 ) ...f7 ll is indeed as though Le Brun's magnificent and emb!emacic armorial display had sudden ly come to life. 48 T he morivacing force was
evidently Plutarch's familiar description of Lys1ppus's
portrair of Alexander, which combined the upward
and sideward glance with a reference to the earth
below: "When Lysippus first modelled a porrrair of
Alexander with his face curned upward coward Lhl·
sky. just as Alexander himself was accustomed to
gaze, turning his neck gently co ont> side. someone
inscribed, not inappropriaLely, the fo llowing epigram: 'The bronze scacue seems ro p todaim, looking
at Zeus: I place the earth under my sway; you 0
Zeus keep Olympos.' "49 These references were guite
evident ro contemporaries. When Bernini described
his idea fo r the base, Chantelou drew the analogy
with the king's device. 50 Another wimess, no doubr
aware of rhe passage in Plutarch, perceived the link
between the royal emblem and the ancient monarch,
remarking, as Bernini himself reported, char the addition of rhe world as a base enhanced the resemblance to Alexander.51
T he multiple allusions to the royal device and to
the Helios-Alexander tradition fill the bust wirh
meaning; they contribute as well co its expressive
intensity and ro the sense of supernatural aloofness
i t conveys.
The Equestrian Portrait
T he bust of Lo uis is itself without any allegorical
paraphernalia: the king is shown wearing his own not cl:.issical -armor, and his own Venetian lace
collar, in a vivid likeness with lips poised ar rhe
moment Bernini described as just before or after
speaking; one observer thought Louis looked as if
Bernini's image
ef 1he Sun
Ll'., • "\ •• ~'
"-XI"' I• ,,
220 ( opposrrr).
Roman ponrair busr. Colchester and Essex
Co lclwst~r.
Fig. 221. T he Colonna Claudius (from Monrfaucon.
vol. 5. pl. XXIX).
Bernini's image of the Sim l<.i11g
O=b Le Brun. ponttl\' o( M.ltS.. apcsm•. P2ns.
du Lou~ ( phoco: Documrnar.on phou>gapluqu~ dt
b Rfunroo des mUSttS n.u101U1U 83 E.'1 5233).
hg. .222.
Bernini~ lmagt
of the Si111 K111g
he were about to issue a command. 52 All this was
changed in the equestrian m<>numcnr. where the king
was shown in amigue guise, his features, as we know
from rhc sources, utterly Lr:msfigurcd into those o( :i
radiant. smiling youth ( Figs. 179, 182; Plate XJ ).
Funcrionally, Bernini's project took up an old tr:.idinon -which had been fo llowed by Fran~ois
Mansart, Pierre Cortard, and Charles Perrault in
their projects
the Louvre-of l'C(Ul' sr:irucs
of t-:rench kings in lheir residences;53 Bernini's was
evidently the hrsr sud1 monument in r-rancc with a
rearing horl>cman, and freestanding raLhcr than attached ro the building. The precedent in borh these
respecrs was P1cLi:o Tacc:.i·~ :.culpturc of Philip IV in
the garden of the Buen Retire at Madrid ( 1642.),
rhe first monumental rearing et1ucstrian in bronze
since annquily ( Fig. .l2.3);54 the appa rent cmularion
reflects the notoi:ious French rivalry with Spain.
fu1:rhcr repercussions of which will emerge prcscnrly.
ln form. Bernini's work was intentionally related
to but also. as he himself reported, completely different from his earlier equestrian monument or dw
emperor Constantine in Rome (Fig. 224). Both
horses !'ear in strikingly similar poses, and rhc ndcrs
mounc, miraculously. wirhour reins or stirrups. Bur
whereas the glance and gestures of Constantinr arc
raised co convey his spirii:ua.I bedazzlemenr at rhe
vision of the H oly Cross above. chose of Louis arc
earthbound and convey his mundane power in whar
Bernini called an "act of majesty and command."55
The phrase should nm be rnken as referring t() a
military directive, as in Donatello's Ca ttamelata-an
inrerprcrarion Bernini abjurrd (sec below). lnslcad,
Fig. .1.2 ; ( rop). L. Meunier. entrance to Buen Rctiro, Madnd,
l\ric.i'h M11.,rnm, l,011tlon.
Fig. 224. gcrnini, equestrian nioni.rmcnt of Consrnnrirw. S c.
Pcrcr's-V;mcan Pabcc, Rome ( phoro: Andnson 191).
Brrn111r's lmagr
S1111 Kirig
he adapted thl' gc~curc of Verrocchio's Collta111 or
Francesco Mochi's Aksru11dro Famesr in Piacen:a
( Fig. 2.?.5) tl) )uggest chac this ruler leads by sheer
force ofbcing. 5f> And whereas Conscancine sprrngs
fro m nn absrr.ict architectural base, Bernini gave
Lo uis a new fo rm
supporl reminiscent of rl1c
substructure of the Pinz:1 Navona fo untain and
~cho ing rhat of the Louvrr itself ( Fig. 226 ) . T he:>
base porrraycd a craggy peak and the image as a
whole recalled rhac of Pegasus :nop Mount Parnassus (see Fig. i95)Y l n the final version .l swirl
of windblown flag:. symbolized the conquest of the
surnmic; like chc drapery of Louis's bust:. chr unfurling banners seemed co bear the pam:air aloft (see
,,, j8 -'3" _.,,,.
When the work was rccut co represenr M~
Curaus hurling h1msdl 1nro the fiery abvss, two
major changes were made. rhe flowing hair ar cht>
back of the head became the casque of a crested
hdmec. and the flags were tr.l!lSformed inro a ~.,
of flames. I do noc believe the expression was cad1caflv :ilcered, since one ofits most distinctive features.
i ts benign smile, mus1 have seemed apptopriarc rn
Bernini's forage ef the 51111 King
the new subject; the chem(
heroic self-sacrifice
preserved, as we shall see, an essential dement of the
meaning Bem101 intended for che work.5'> The smile
echoed the resplendem visage of Bernini's own
[magc of Truth. T he ~mi li ng sun was a Lraditio nal
111etapho 1~ of course, and Bernini was not rhe firs! ro
portray Louis rhis way; ch(' imagC' of radianc benig nit)' had appeared a few years earlier, for
example, in a portrait of chc king as Jupiccr, viccorious after the rebellions of chc Fronde (Fig. 227).60
Also relevant, perhaps. was the descripcioa ofan
equestrian figure of the emperor Domitian by the
poet Scatius, who expresses the JOY of conccmpl:iting a face in which are mixed the signs of war and
peace.61 To convey Beman a's rhought, however; I c;m
do no betrer than co quote his own words:
I have noc represenrrd ! Louis m che acr of com
manding his arrmcs. Tht>. after all, would be appropnatc for any pnnce. Bur I wanrcd co represent him m
the ~tare he alone.> ha:. been .iblc to actain chrough his
glorious cmcrpriscs. And ~ 1 nc1• the poec.s imagine rhac
Glory resides on the Lop <)f ,1 very high and steep
hg. 1.1.5 ( opp~siir). h:incc•cn Mocha, fqtrc>trian monument of
Alessandro Farnese. Piazza d e1 Caval li. Piace nza ( phlltO: Manzorti, Piacenza ).
Fig. ..t..?.6 (lift). Bcrnim. study for the ct1ucstnan monument u(
Louis X1V. drawing. Musco Civico. Bassano.
Fig. 227 ( abow). Anonymou>, Lo111> XIV a> Jupiter. Mu>fr
National du Ch<itcau de Vci-,saillcs ( phoro: Docummtation
phorograph1quc de la Reunion des musccs narionaux MV 8073).
&rnini's lntage of tlu Sim Kmg
mountain who:.« summit llnlr a frw d[mb, L'~ rcaso11
demands rhar rhosc who ncvcnhckss happily a1T1,·c
d1crc: ,1itcr t:ndming prlv:n1on~ rnprmli dis.(ggi], jt)yf'Ltlly
brcarhc rhc air of sweetest Glory. which. having cost
ccmbJ,. lnbors d1s.istnm tml'c1gli'. is rhc more dear. chc
more Luru: nubk rhc strain Lni1rmawlt .. s1m10] o( th~
asccm has been. And as King Louis wich the long
cou1-se of his m:rny famous victmics has ;ilrcady conquered chi: ~rccp rise of thl" mountain, l h;we shown
him as a rider on ics summ1r, in full possession of rhat
Clory. which. at the cosr ol' blood rrom .Ji sar~ue]. his
name has acquired. Since a jovial face and a gracious
smile arc prnpcr to him who is contented, l h~ve rep1\:scmed Lhc mo11:1rcl1 in chis way. 6·'
The cqL1escrian l,oHis XJJI went rhrough several
stages of development and incorporated many ideas
;i.nd [tJd i[ions, of which l wanr LO consider only a
few. An lmporranr, rhougli h.:rerofore unnoticed,
idea is rdlected in an emblem b<>Ok published by a
learned 13ologrn:sc anriquarian and hisrnrian, Achille
Bocchi, in 1555 (fig. 2.28). O ne of Bocchi's devices
shows a horsem;i.n, Di ligence, srriving up a high
peak Lo rc.:eive from Feliciry ::i crown ornamemed
wirh flcurs-dc-lys. The caption re:ids, "Happiness is
rhe ultimate reward of prudence and diligencc.''M
Once again Bernini merges rhe image of the rustic
glory scaled by the as~iduous labms
virtue with that of the radiant and beneficent .sun
shining brighdy above rhe earth.
W hat 1111gh1 be ca lled rhc physical characrcr
of the monument-its size and technique-is an
csscnrial pan of its meaning. As far as I can determine Bernrni's Louis XIV is the first monumental,
frec -sranding, rearing equestrian statue cxecured in
stone since amiguity. le was, moreowr, carved from
a single block, "larger than the Constantine," "rhe
largest ever seen in Rome," "the largest ever strnck
by chisel." according co rhe early biographers.65 The
whole enterprise, especially considering rhe mountainous base, reminded one contemporary of rhe
archirccr Dinocrates who, in rhc guise of Hercules,
proposed to carve a statue oC Alexander che Great
fro m Mounr Arhos. 66 The operarive factor here was
the ancienr my~tique. emulated by sculptors since
the Renaissance, of l:.irgc-scale monoli thic sculprurc
as testimony to the prowess of both the :misr and
rhc s ubjcct. 67
Bernini's conccpr for rhe marble group had several notable precedents in purely secular contcxcs, in
Rome and in Florence and Turin, where the arrist
Bernini's Image
of the Sun
was received ar courr in grand style as he traveled
roParis.68 First and foremost was rhc so-called Farnese Bull, reprtscnring rhe rablc of Dirce, now in
rhc Archeological Museum in Naples ( Fig. 2.2.9).M
In Bernini's rime it was ro be seen in Michelangelo's
P:ilazzo Farnese in Rome, having been discovered in
rhe Baths of Caracalla in 1545 and identified :is a
Labor ol Hercules. che heroic :mccstor of chc F:.1rnese family. It was one of the most prominent of all
ancient sculptures known, and in rhc few months
before Bernini's visit to Paris Louis had soughL
more rhan once to acguire the piece for himself
The s ignificance of the sculprurc was partly a marrcr
of scale and technique-a huge "mounrain of marble," as ir was called, with multiple figures said ro
have been c:irved from a single block; the work was
mem:ioned for precisely these reasons in a discussion
of important aotiquicics during Bernini's stay at the
French court. Furthermore, from Bernini's poinr of
view, ar least, the epithet "mountain of marble" could
be raken literally, offering classical preccdenr for the
unorthodox pedescal he envisioned for his own group.
Finally, the great work had been the motivation for
an ambitious project of Michelangelo. described by
Vasari, for the r:arnesc palace rhcn under construction. Michelangelo would have made the sculpture
hg. l.?8 (oppos1u). Achille Bocchi, "Fclicirns prudenriac er
diligentiac est" ( from Bocchi. t555, p. CLXXV IJ!).
Fig. 229. Farnese Bull. Museo Archeologico Nazionalc.
(phoco: Anderson .:!.J202 ).
Rmli11i's lmagt
of the Sun King
Fcg. z.30. Gau~nnc &logiu. Hcrculo O\'Ctcocncng 1'-nMU.
Loggi.a dti Unzt. Aortn« (photo: Sopnrunidm= per 1 lkm
Ar:mua ~ Sconn. FIC'lrtncr 1171~1\
rhe focal poim of a vista extending from rhe square
Ln fi-ont of rhe Farnese palace through the building
icsdf co rhe courryard in rhe rcai; where the group
would have been installed a.s a fountain. and beyond
along a new bridge acro:,s the Tiber to a Famcsc
garden and casino on the ocher side of rhe river.
The challrnge of the heroic sculpcural fear of ~he
ancients, che bold idea of a nawraliscically carved
base chac served co r.llse che figure to rhe summit of
che earch, and che prospecr of uicegrating che sculpture along a grandiose urban. archic:ecwral, and
landscape ax1s-.ill chesc features associated w1ch
rhe Farnese Bull wen~ emulaced m Bem1m 's plan co
l<>C3Ce his monol11l11~. mulnfigured mounr:un-rnp
monument m the space between rhe rear facadl' of
rhe Louvre and chc Tuilcries palace.
No less c~senttal to Bcmtru 's thought was an
equestrian monument of sores that had also been
carved from a ~mgk 1f considerably smaller. block:
Giovanni Bologna's Htrrnles Ovtrtomi11g Nmus, daLed
.Bernini's Image o( tht .'iu11 King
1600, in rhe Loggia de1 L.inz1 111 Florence (Fig. 230). 70
The group was intended to glorify Ferdinando 1
and the Medici dynasry oCTuscany, whid1 more
than any oche r sec chc direction for the European
monarchic style chat Louis XJV would follow. fhe
relevance of che work lay partly in its fonn and
m:ucrial and partly m the way the I lerculean theme
was inrerprered-noc simply as a victory bur as J
labor. an obscade overcome on the road ro glory.
Th.1.S message w:ii. spelled <>Ut on a commemorac1ve
medal. inscribed Src lmr ,Ji/ Astra, -chus one reaches
che"-1 Giambologna':. >culpcure tcself. the
medal and che mscnpnon were all co be rellecred
m Bernini's work.
ln cenam respects che ne;it'C!IL amecedenc for
Bernini's idea was the eque~cnan scatue of Via:ono
Amadeo I of S,wov, which had been msralled iusr a
year before Bernini's \•1sit m a niche in rhe grand
staircase of che PaJJ..a.o R\·ale m Turin Fig. ..!.F )."'2
Thi:. mixed-media work b\' Andreu Rivak:i-rhe
Fig .qi. .'\ndrN R1vJlto. C•tUC>lrlJn monument of Vinorio
1\rnJJr11 I of S.wo)- Pa!Jun Rr.:ik. Tunn \ phmo: A.,ch1rn.
horse Is of marble, the rider n.nd supporting figures
of bronze- muse have raised the prospect of a rearing ct1ucsrri:in porrraiL in stone as a royal monu·
nwnc, perhaps ro reinforce visually Louis's political
hcgcm<>ny over thc- north Iralian duchy. Taken
togclhr:r, rhe Giambologna and Riv:tlta sculpLurr:s
foreshadowed Bel'nmi's conceprion of a monolithic
frci':.rnnd111g rearing equ\~Strian porrrai t and the idea
of a royal r:qucstnan monument with a Herculean
In d1e rdJg1ous, or quas1-rd1gious. sphere the monument responded to a specific reguesr from Colbert
that 1t be similar but not 1dent1cal to Bernini's own
ponrayal of the first Chnscian emperor, srtuaced al
the junction betwt>en tht> narrhex of Sr. Perer's and
Llw Scala R.eg1a, the Rt)yal Scairway co the Vatican
palace. The allusion was doubly significant in view
of rhc a.ssociarion Llw r rcnch must have made between the statue i11 Rome and the many eguesrrian
figures, t)ftc11 identified with Constantine and his
Fr:rnk1sh rr1ncarn:-11 ion Charlemagne, rhaL dccoraLc
the cncr.ancc portals to French medieval churches.
!'he reference servcd ro assimilnte Louis Lo the
venerable Lr.idiLitm identifying rhe Frencb monarchs
as Lhc def..:ndcrs of the foirh and true successors to
the l·foly Rom:m Empire.7-'
The secular :md Christian themes conveyed by
Bernini\ sculpturc were ep1t0mized 111 rwo medals
struck in Rome about 1680, doubdess under the
aegis of rhe pope, rcproducmg the final dcsign. 74
One medal (Fig. .ip.), which is monoface, bears the
inscripnon Hae ltcr ad Suptros, "chis way to che gods."75
This was a preemmcndy Herculean semimenr. assooaccd especially wirh the theme o( Hercules ar the
Crossroads; the hero chooses the difficulc parh of
righteousncss over che easy road to pleasure, thereby
expressing chc supreme Scoic vircue, conquesr of rhe
sclf:u, Tht• 0Ll1cr medal (fig . .i.33) shows rhc sculpture on rhe obverse, with two inscrip[ions. The leg~nd L111l(ov1cus) M11g11(r1s) Rtx Clms1ianissimHs describes
.Br.n1111i's /111agt
of the Sun K111g
hg. z.32.
Anron10 rravarn. meda l <J i" Louis XJV. Vac1c:111
Library. R"me.
f ig. z.33. Antonit1 Tr.ivnm, medal of Louis XIV. Vnrican
Library. Rome.
Louis as "the Greae· and as "Most Christian King"
- both early epic:hets adopted by Louis in reference
L<> the secular and religious ritles by which the
French kings traced their authority back through
Charlemagne LO Constantine the Grear. 77 The motto
on the flags, Et M.ajor Titulis Virtits, "virtue is greater than
tides," emphasizes the moral. as distinct from the feudal, basis o!Louis's claims to the rides, a crucial po.inr
to which we shall return presently. The reverse of c:hc
medal (Fig. 234) has :tn allegorical composicion i11
which Victory and Religion triumph over Heresy-an
Bernini:< image of the Sun King
obvious reference ro rhe H uguenocs -with the motto
Vic/ore Rege Victrix Religio, "viccorious the king, victorious religion."
T he pedestal of Bernini's sculpmrc was to have
borne the inscription Non Pli1s Ultra, and the sculpture irself would have been Hanked with two great
columns alluding both to the columns of Trajan
and Marcus Aurelius in Rome and LO the Pillars of
Hercules ( cf Fig. 235).78 To my knowledge, these
potent symbols, real and mythical, of ancienL imperial and Herculean triumph were here linked fo r the
l:'ig. 2l4. Antonio Travam, meda l of I.outs XIV, reverse of
Fig. .tB. Vallcan Libmry. Rumc•.
Fig. i ;5. Georg W.Jhdrn V..srnrr. medal u( Charles VI. 1717.
Am Num~m~ric t;ooe"'· N~ Yc>rk.
firsc c1me.""'> The idea of a portrait of the Sun King
placed bcrween the PtUars of HcrcuI~ ma} have
detivcd from an ancient devotional relief much discussed by contemporary antiquarians as an epitome
o( classical mythological symboljsm (Fig. 236). A
radiate busr of Apollo appears between :i pair of
Herculean clubs resting on rocky bases that amiciparc Lhr suppons of rhc Hercules figures Aankmg
the enr ranee m Bernini·.!. ch1rd Louvre project (see
Fig. 180 . The rche£ which was 10 the Mattei collccuon m Rome, had been lllui.rraced and inter-
pretcd by the greac Jesuic Polymath Arhanasiu.s
Kircher. who had worked closely wich Bernini on
the N:ivona founcai n. in a learned book on
the founcarn's obelisk.80 R.c:rnng l'tluc:.trian portr:urs
and twisted columns had appeared together on rhe
caca£."llqul! of Fr:mcesco I d'Este (Fig. 2.37); Bernini
had once engaged to provide the model of a commemorar1vc equesrrian monument of the duke for
the P1:ir~ Duca.le at Modena.111 Paired columns
representing the pillars of Hercules and assoaared
wirh rhe mocco Non Pires Ultra were a common
&nmuj lmagt
Fig. 1.36. Anciem (?) relief linking Apollo and Hercules.
Formerly Villa Martei. Rome (from Kircher. 1650, ri6).
l'ig. .1.37 (opposite). Catafalque ofFrn.ncesco I d'Esce (from Gamherti, 1659. opp. p. 190).
emblem th at might refer eiLher to an unsurpassable
achievement, physical or spiritual, or a lim itation
imposed by prudence. Associau!d especially wid1 chc
Hapsburgs, the device also connoted rhe geographical excem of che cmpire.82
All these associations converged i.n's mind
with a stunning proposal he had evidently made ro
Pope Alexander Vll in Rome before his rrip to
Paris. The family or che pope in 1659 had acg uired
a palace on Lhe Piazza Colonna, immediately adjacent to the still unfinished Pala:ao di M~imecitorio,
&rnini's lmage
of 1be Su11 King
which Bemim had designed for Alexander's prcdecessor.83 Bernini suggested moving the column of
Trajan from rhe Fomm, presumably co rhc Piazza
di Montecirorio, Lo make a pair wirh the column
o ( Marcus Aurelius. This an:angemem would have
created an cxpliciL rcciproc1cy between the columns
in the Monrecitorio-Colonna area, and the two
papal palaces would have been linked by the city's
most grandiose public sciuare after that: of Sr. Peter's
irsclf. 8'1 Thus paired, the columns would have suggested the columns and metas marking the spina o(
&n11111's lmagt of 1bt Sim Kmg
Fig. l 18.
Navona, the ancicnr circus of Domitian, Rome
(phoco: fococeca Unione 6469 FG).
Fig. .!39 ( oppos1u, bouom).
Domenico Fonrana, catafalque of
Pope Sixtus V ( from Carnni, 1591. pl. i.4).
Fig, 2 40 (opposit~ top). G iacomo Lauro. Temple o f H onor and
Virtue ( from Lauro, 161i.-41, pl. io).
&mini's lrnage of tbt Sun King
an ancient circus, an d rhc whole arrangement would
have recalled chat at Piazza Navona ( Fig. 238)- the
ancient sradium of Domitian -as well as rhe disposition of rhe Vatican Palace beside the circus o(
Nem T he connecrion of palace and circus evoked
an ancient tradition of imperial, Hercu lean lriumph,
based on the juxtaposition of the palace of u1e
emperors on rhe Palatine and the Circus Maximus
(see Figs. 208, 209).85 T he ancient columns had
been paired spiritually, as it were, ever since Si.xtus
V had crowned chem with sr.acues of Peter and
PatJ , patrons of the Holy See. Sixtus also restored
rhe badly damaged column of Marcus Aurelius, and
rhc inscriplion on the new base refers to the c:riumph of Christianity over paganism.86 The ancient
spiral columns had also been brought mgether physically as trophies on the catafalque erected for Sixtus's funeral in 1591 ( Fig. 239) and as background
for Giacomo Lauro's ideal reconstruction of rhc
Temple of H onor and Virrue in Rome ( Fig. 240 ) .117
Bernini 's projecL !o r che Pinz7.a Colonna would
have referred these themes specifically co rhe Chigi
Btm1111's lnwgt ef tht 5wn Kmg
papacy.88 By shiftmg chc ideas of religious and
moral victory rn rhe Louvre and .lSsociaring che
Roman rriumplul columns
wich rhc Pillars of Her-
cules, Bernini would have endowed Louis with che
same cl;:iim to superloriLy over rhe anciems in rhe
secular sphere. ln rhe Louvre project, however, this
notion acquires a different and unexpected aspect.
owing to rhe repercussions of :i grear historical
evenr that must have played a considerable role in
Bernini's chinking.
In 1659 the Treaty of che Pyrenees was signed by
France and Spain, whose power was broken. The
treaty established the boundary between che two
countries, with the victo rious Louis agreeing not to
pursue his expansionist designs beyond the Pyrenees.
Louis's marriage che following year to Maria Theresa
of Austria, daughcer of Philip fV and queen of
Leon and Casrlle. forged a new link between the
rwo countries. The spirit of peace and reconciliation
heralded by chese events was invo ked in a trace published in t66o by Bernini's own nephew, Father
lt JS often desirable for the glory of heros char they
themselves voluntarily pur limits on their dcsigrn
before Time or Death docs so of necessity. .. . The
grand example [of Hercules who raised the columns,
then stopped ro rest after his victories] makes all rh1!
world admire the moderation l) r our monarch, who,
having more ardor and courage than any o f rhe heros
of ancienr·Grcecc and Rome. knew how to resrraui his
generous movements in the midst of success and vicrories and place voluntary limirs ro his fonune ... The
trophy rhac will rt'nder him glorious in the history of
all rime will be the knowledge that this young conqueror preferred rhe repose of his people over the
advantages of his glory and sacrificed his interests to
t he rraoquilicy of his subjeccs.9 1
Precisely rhe same sentiment incroduced che commemoracive inscription on
copper tablet chac was
immured by the king with the foundation stone of
rhe Louvi:e irself. in a ceremony shortly before Bernini left Paris:
Francesco Marchesi. a devout and learned member
of rhe Oratorio of San Filippo Neri. This massive
wo rk, dedicated to the respective protagonists,
Louis Xllil
King of France and Navarre,
Cardinal Mazarin and rhe count-duke of O livares,
Having conquered his enemies and given
extoUs the treaty and marriage as the cuhninacion of
peace co Europe
the entire millennial history of rhe relations becwe<:n
Eased the burdens of his people.92
the two countries. Bernini was extremely att:iched to
his nephew, and recent research has sho wn that
The themes of virtue and self- mastery as the true
Marchesi was :in important influence on the arcisr in
his lacer years.89 No doubr in this case Marchesi's
basis for rule were also the leitmotif of Le Brun's
great series of paintings from the life of Alexander,
views prepared die way for Bernini's subsequent
adap tation for his equesrrian project of another
executed for che king beginning in 1661. Bernini,
work in which t:ssenrially the same attitude was
tions during his stay in Paris, 93 cook up chis idea,
expressed emblem:llically.
combining the image fi:om the Lyon festival with
The political implications of the pacr were illustrated in ::i grc::ir tableau used in the celebration al
Lyon in 1660 of Louis's marriage to Maria Theresa
( Fig. 241 ) .90 A personification of war stO<)d on a
che centerpiece of another project celebrating the
Peace of the Pyrenees co which he himself had contrib uted. To commemorate the event and further
humiliate Spain in Rome, the Frend1 minister pro-
pile of military spoils that bore che inscription No11
posed to create an elaborate stairway up the Pincian
Ultra, between cwo columns to which her arms are
hill from the Piazza di Spagna to rhe French endave
at Trinica dei Monti. Bernini made a model for che
bound by chains. One column was decorated with
rhe emblem of France. the other with chose of Leon
and Castile, and the whole was placed atop a craggy
who saw and greatly admired two of the composi-
project, and his idea may be reflected in several
drawings that include an equestrian monument in
two-peaked mass referring ro t he Pyrenees. Menes-
which the king is shown charging forward with
r.rier included the device in another publication wich
a commentary that explains Bernini's conceit, which
drapery flying ( Figs. 242, .i43).94 The conception
seems to anticipate the work Bernini made for Lhe
radically reinterpreted the traditional notion of an
Louvre, but it is far more aggressive. Indeed, Bernini
equestrian rnonumem.
m ay well have been referring co thjs ptojecr when he
Bernini's [mage
of the Sun
de F (a.1u:lreJ
Fig. J..p . Allcgurv ol the P1:actof1h1: Pyrcncu (from
166o. opp. p. 54 )·
Fo f.
&n11n1's lmagt of tlx s~rn King
18 ~
Fi~. ~2 " ' - • Wonahop of lkmuu 1). pro~n fot" 1ht- .i~r·
14 ~\ to Tnmu Jn Monu. Jr:awmg ~1.S Oiigi P. VIII. 10. foh..
~ov-11. 81blto1(<<1 VJuc~.
&niim's lnuigr of tilt S 1111 J..111g
hg. L# Mauta Je Ros.s1, project for J monumrm conc.umng
lkm1m's rqucsrnm Louis XJV drnwmg. S1bliochcqut Nanon;i.k
po1mcdly rem:irked that he would
show Lo ~1 is
commanding hi:. troops (sec p. 170 above).
Menesmer's commenc on the image from Lyon
explains Bernini\ l'lTlphastS on the "pri,iacion~." the
"temble labors," che -1amencable saaio." 311J the "cost
or blood.. Louis suffered for hb greatness. Bernini
umve.rsalized thr tdea; the Pyrenees became the mountain of virtue, 11nd terriconal conc:unmenc bec11me victory over the self. He thus managed to embody both
meanings of rhe Noll Plus Ultra/P illars of Hercules
Lrndirion. C'xprcssmg Louis's aitninmcnr of the extreme
limic of glory through vicror1es achieved ar great self~crificc. l11e es.\ence of Bernini's conceit lies m the
profound irony of che gre:ll hero re.iching the he1ghl.$
of sp1cirual rriumph by limiring eanhly ambition.95
Thi-' cquesrrian monumenr becomes chereby an
emblem noc only of milicary buc of moral force,
a vehicle not o nl>' of political bul also of echic:il
precept. Bernini's image. above all. is that of potentially overwhelming power held in finn and benign
Tbt King, Romf, a11d tht Popt
All chree wo rks by Bernini for Louis XfV were
composed of csscnrially rhc same rhrce dcmcncs,
which serve in e:lch contexr to crcale a fo rm of
visual apotheosis: a lower realm of'
nacural e:irth:
an mcermediac:e, man-made, H errulean domain of
dressed scone or prov1dcncially arr:mgcd drapery.
and an upper level mhabiced bv lhc kmg. The commuml}' of Bernini ':. projectS wa:. clearly underslood
by his ascuce assistant Mama de' Rossi. whose repon:
from Pans, quoted on p. 157 above. g:ive Bernini's own
mterpretatioo of the equcstnan monument. A design
signed by de' Rossi ( Fig. 244), presumably dating
from shortly nfter Bernini's death, incorporates the
same three elements and allusions LO all three
projeCts.96 An isolated "ccmpiecco'' containing the
equestnan group on its rocky base stands on a
scogl1ffll placfonn; the entrance is flanked by scacues
of Hercules with his club, while above the portal a
figure of Arias, surrounded by m1lirary trophies,
supportS a globe displaying fl eurs-de-lys.
I ti:usc it is also clear chat :ill three works corwey
cssenciaUy the same message: noble ideals arc embodied in a man whose merir derives not from his
noble birth bur from b.ts virtue and labors. Bern1J11
himself expressed 3.'l much shortly before he left
Parb, when he sajd co Lows thac ~he would have
been happy co spend the rest of his life in his service, not because he was a king of France and a
grear king, bur because he had realized thac his
sp1rir was even more i:xalred rhan his posirion.''97 Ir
&mrm's fm,igt
ef tht Sim
Fig. 45. Jr;sn Wann f.1UnJ~11on m.,dJ( for rhe
rh~ut N.tuorulr, ?MU.
Ftg. !46 'PP""")· Eucnnr Dupcnc. M1chel.mgclo's pm1ra for
C=tptdoglio. cnw.iVUlR·
is srriking and sympcom:mc Lhac Bernini 's design for
the palace is inordinately :.parmg of ornament and
aJmosr devoid of regal or dynasnc references- an
auscericy chac Colbcrl had already complained of in
the second prop:cL.98 M oreover, the visual and conceprual hierarchy from crude mass co ideal form
rcBcccs Bernini 's undemanding of the creative process itself: "He ciced the example of the orator, who
first invents, then orders, dresses, and adorns.''99 The
processes of achievmg moraJ and expressive perfecc1on ace essemially the same. In 1rs come.°'c each
portrayal of che king embodied on a monumencal
sole a single enstenual hierarchy in which form
and meaning were permeaced w1ch ethical concenc. 100 le seems only logtcal chac Bern.mi should
have regarded chc medium through which che hierarchy IS urufied. :.Lone, not as a ng1d but as a protean maceriaJ subject co his will le seems appropnate chat he formulated chi!> unorthodox notion
precisely in response co a criuosm of rhe crinkled
and perforated drapery ::ind mane of clw equestrian
I..ouis XlV: "rhe imputed defect, he replied, was the
Bm1i11i's Image ~f the
greaccst pr.use of his, wich which he had conquered rhe difficulty of rendcnng marble mallcablr
as wax"; nor even rhe ancients were "given rhe heart
co render stones obediefll to chi: hand as if they
were of dough." 101
Th e simplicity. grandeur. and unity of Bernini's
rhought can be fuUy grasped, however, only tf one
reconstructs in rhe mind's eye how he imagined the
works would be seen. Following the path of the
sun, as it were, the visiror entered rhe mountain-top
palace through rhe Hercules porrals of rhe east
facade LO have htS .lUdience w1ch the king. While
wainng in rhe anredumber co be admm:ed to rhe
augusc presence. he would gaze upoo rhe king':. porcraic busr hovenng above its mundane pedestal. 10Z
Bernini envisaged che equesrnan monument m fron1
of rhe opposite, western. facade. beLWem the Louvre
and the Palace of the Tuileries. There, the image of
Louis, smiling as his mount leaps to che summit of
rhc Mountain of Glory and Aanked by the impenaJ
criumpha.l column!> as the Pillars of Hercules, would
have been rhe focus of dw vista at die western limit
of rhe sun's trajectory.
The rhmking displayed here had irs only real
precedent 1n Roml'. to be sure, despite Bernini's
not0rious distaste for much of whar he saw in
France, his proiccrs for Louis wcrl! deeply .ind deliberately imbued with allusions co French tradiuon:
the v1suahzacion of the royal emblem, the reccncion
of rhc palac:e-m-a-moar, rhc portr.tit mounred on a
globe, the palace equcsman, all bear wirness co chis
acknowledgmcnr. 103 Yer. Bernini's whole .:onceprion
of the Louvre seems intended to meld into one surpassing synthesis at Paris rhe l wo ciuincesscmiaJ
monuments of Roman world dominion. secular
and religious. 104 This dual significance was defined
explic1cl\' m the medals tSSued to commemor.uc che
cnrerpnse. of which those recording the equestrian
portra1c have already been discussed ( p. 175£ above).
The ~ame idea was m~cribed on the foundation medal
of rhr r.ouvre ic:self, by Jean Warin, showing Bernini's
facade wirh the legend Maics1M1 ar Arurni1(a1i) Cull(onm1)
lmpem Sill"'"'• usacred to the majesty and eternity of the
GalJrc emprre" rFig. 2+5 . 105
Seen an thrs lighc the complementary monumental allusions-secular and sacral-of Bernini's conccpcion becomt? all but mev1table. rhe colossal order
crowned by n continuous balustrade with sraru cs
emulates Michelangck)'s palaces 011 lhe Camp1doglio
( Fig. 246): these, coo. like the residence on the
Palatine, rise from a summrr redolent of unpenaJ
glory. that of che Capicoline hill. :uid include the
equesman scarue pornaymg the mosr benign of
emperors. Marcus Aurelius. The .inalogy actually
gave ase to :i dialogue between the Capitol and
Bernini. in which che :misc was reported ro have sa id.
"Dove e 11 gran Lu1g1, c rl Carnpidoglio!" 106 ( Where
the great Louis is, chere is rhe Capicol!- a Roman
\'ersron of Louis's notonous dictum "L:cclt c'cst
mor "). No less meaningful and deliberate were the
many cr:msfcrrals to Pans we have noced of ideas
and projects Berninr had devised in the sen·ice of
the popes. The imperial palace rradition had long
since been assiinjlaced to papal ideology, and important aspects of Bermns 's conceit for the Louvre had
been :.uggested in a volume ofemblems devored ro
&mrni's lmagt oftht 51111 King
c c 1 1 1 1.
Con ""1pij giri '4 f"/'a-6" Mo!LJ;
CIR'/ 1Ug110 itnrrt" kn .fon,tUto,, e rmo
Cinge Dui.o .immortlf/,Si[.nor pqfttto,
Che~i Soggati vgualmente itnentln: 'TJIPJ/c...J:
E qu.le Ill- me~ • i celejli om ii Sofu:
Aflmn,., e ftald"on j'ermo Jjetto
Com~ 1' Sattjmo )da S or1U11 ii pmo,
. . Tai Q::PM :rog(t11m~: ch6. ffi<?f!orll>t, c~i~:
·"Del Italia e· vn. ptcfol M9ndo, e JJ..owu
. E J:,,,.,,Jbi it c..po' Ollt nluce) t- fPJtnJu
. Coil 1101'11 Sfl,r.a. ifP 11Jior /..»to; e gi-jlo.
'Tal che non men pw ven~P fa11. Cbiom11.
Cli~ del faco ti111m !),.Animi
It Gt/mo GrrilUJn, cbe I I!Uib lkt11flo.
Fig. .t.47. F.mhlnnofGrrgoryXlll'~P~Qumn.:alr from
fabncu, 1~88, p. Jo8
Gregory xm in which chat pope's actions and hib
am1onaJ device, the dragon, had been graphically
incertwined. 107 The image iJJusrracing rhe summer
pafocc builc by Gregory (Fig. .:?.47) shows rhc building perched conspicuously awp the Quirinal hill
(Monce Cavallo, from rhe ancu:nt sculptures of the
horse earners chat adorn rhe square); the accompanying epigram 1denrifies the pape as the sun and Rome
and the ponrilf as head of the microcosm, radiacing
bendicence on ltaly and the world; Ttaly 1s described
as a pucol Mondo, anticipating the inscripnon Bemina
mcended for rhe globular base of his bust of Louis
XIV. I believe thar Bernini, in rum, was consciously
seeking to create at the Louvre for the world's gre:uesl
cerresrrial monarch the cguivalcnr of what he had
created at SL Peter's fo r the world's greatest spiritual monarch. The mvencion of the scoglie-ra even
made 1t possible co link the allusions co the imperial
mountain-cop palaces with the Mons VaJicamcs of S1.
&n1m1 s lmagt ef tlx Sun Kmg
Perer and the popes and wirh the biblical mecaphor
of the rock on which Chr1sL had bu.ih his church:
Tu es Pt1r11s et sitptr hanc ptrmm aedijitabo Ecdesiam r11ea111
( Man:hcw 16:i8). These associacions had been given
a French cast in a medal that showed the basilica
of St. Peter's perched on a rocky b~e ( Fig. 248).
The medaJ celebrared chc constant support given
ro rhe Holy See by one of the great French cardinals of the period, Fran~ois de la RochefouauJd
(1558-1645), rhe image and the mscaprion Rupe
firma1ur m lsw, "secure on that rock." punning on
his namc. 108
The visitor co chc Louvre would have been ravished by a secular version of the awesome spectacle
he experienced in Rome proceeding through the
embracing portico inco the basilica to rhe high alt:u:
surmounted by the baldachin. and beyond co the
throne of the Prince of the Apostl~ in the apse.
Whm Bernini's unitanan vision of rhe Sun King
Fig. .?41.
Thomou lknutd.
of Cmlui.iJ
Jt' Li
Rod1douc;aulcl. 8ibliodiequr N3t1on;ak Pans.
is viewed in this way, one can readily understand
Bernini's view of his own contribution ls an ,mist:
he w:.15. he said, the first co make of the ans a marvelous who le, occasionally breaching withour violence the boundaries thlt separate chem. 109
Ajurimagts at VtrsailltS
The failure of Bernini's visit to Paris is normally
t:iken as a cuming point in French accirudes toward
1talian culture since the Renaissance; the dem ise of
his various projects for rhe Louvre signaled the triumph of a new national self-consciousness and selfconfidence nonh of the Alps. Srylistically these new
arricudes linked to the rc1cccion of che fulsome
rhetonc of che Italian baroque and the development
of the tempered logic of French dassiosm. Although
correct in general terms, this analysis needs to be
qualified, especially on the evidence of what Look
place in the immediately succeeding years when the
king dercnnmed to move boch his residence and the
scat of government from the Louvre to VcrsailJes.
Le Brun adapted Bermni 's equesaian projecc in
designing a monument of Louis. incended initially
for the Louvre but then eVtdendy to be placed
before the facade of Versailles (Fig. 249). uo Le
Brun also presumably designed che stucco relief
executed by Coysevox in the Salle de la Guerre that
serves as rhe antechamber CC> che ceremonial receptio n hall known as the Galerie des G laces (Fig. 250 ) .
D epicting Louis crowned by a personificat ion of
princely g lory, the composition translates Bernini's
moral conceit into the grandiloquent language of
high aUegory. 111
Both of Beounl's own sculprures were also broughl
co Versailles, after all. The cqucscrian group was
Fig. 249 ( rigb1). Copy after Charles Le arun, project for a monumenr of Louis XIV, drawing. Narionalmuscum, Stockholm.
Fig. 25o (nbov,). Ancoioc Coysevox, Louis XIV crowned by
Princely Glory. Salon de la Guerre, Yecsailles (photo: Gimudon
Fig. 251 ( opparitt). Jean Warin. busrof Louis x.rv. Musee National
du Chateau de Versailles ( phoro: Documemac1on phorographique
de la Reunion des musees 11ationaux 74 DN z415).
Bernini's lmageof the.Sun King
placed an che garden and moved sevecal times, but
the common nooon chac ic was sent mro ex1le musr
be reconsidered. In face. 1t was conspicuously located
as che focal pomr of che view along che major transverse aius in fronc of and parallel ro che facade of
the palace, first at rhe norch side of che Bassin de
Neptune and finally, in che early eighreench century,
at the end of the Piece d'8au des Suisscs. 11 was
replaced al the Bassin de NepLune by Domenico
Guidi's highly esteemed group of Time and History
holding a portrait medallion of the king, so chat the
cwo works faced each ocher ac opposite sides of chc
ho~n. Bernini's scuJpcurc was chus displaved far
more prominently than many ocher works dispersed
among che mmor recesses of the garden. 1u Furthermore. the transformation of the group was, m a way.
singularly appropriate. Marcus Curtius was one of
che great legendary heroes of anciquicy who sacrificed himself co save his councry. ln chis sense rhc
revision showed a remarkably subtle understanding
of the meaning Bernini emphasized in explaining his
conccpc1on. I suspect:, indeed. thac Girardon's alcerauons were not intended 10 oblttt:r:ice the referencr
ro che king bur co cransfonn the work inco a moralr.tcd dep1cuon of Louis XIV m the gu15e of Marcus
Curnus. 11 -~ The modihcanon accommodated the
sculpture to the prmople. follnwed cons1scench m
the garden decorations, of avoiding any direct porrr.n'lll of chc king. Louts was presenc evervwherc, of
course. but m the sublimated domam of che garden
hts sp1ric was invoked only through allegory. 114
We know rhat Bernini's busr oF Louis also hnd
a rather active life before ic finally alighi;ed in the
Salon de Diane in 1684. Ar each stage along rhe
way. 1c was accompanied by che bust made by Jean
Warin in 1666 ro rival Bernini's (Fig. 251). Firsc ar che
Louvre and chen at the Tutleries and finally agam at
Versailles, Wanris sculprure accompanied Bernini's
as a demonHrauon of French ab1litv co compete
wich chc acknowledged master, whose work was rhus
regarded and prominently displayed as the couchstonc
ofsupreme achievement m the :irr.115
As co the chateau of Versailles ( Fig. 252), the
very clarion of French archicecwr:t! idencicy, rhe
analogy was long ago noted bet ween the upper silhouerre of Bernini's Louvre projccr-rhe conrinuous honzontal cornice and balustrade crowned with
sculptures-and chat of Louis Le Vau's building. 116
This rclauonship. mdced, 1s sympcomacic of the
symheuc creauve procedure char 1s perhaps che chief
legacy :ir Vc~aiU«!s of Bernini') work for che Louvre
In cerram respects che garden facade, as ongmally
planned by Le Vau, belongs m a senes of works char
link elemen~ of che two tradinonal types of noble
residenLiaJ archirecrure. rhe urban palace (Fig. 253)
and the infom1al extramural vill:i ( Fig. 254). The
earmark of the former was rhc £lat screer facade
with a monumcnral order or orders placed on a
h1gh rusricaced base; the earmark
the latter was "
LJ-shaped plan embracing a garden or courtyard
bccween projecting wings. Vanous ~Leps had been
taken earlier in che cem:ury co relate the rwo rypes.
Jn the ViUa Borghese at Rome a coherent facade was
achieved by including a terrace between che two
wings <Fig. 199). u7 In che Palazzo Barbenni, where
Berrum himself had worked. rhe orders and rust1cared base of t:he palace cype were mcroduced in a
LJ-shaped facade ( Fig. 255). Ir can hardly be coincidence rhar both these buildings are ne:i.r, but noc in.
the city center; hence they are Lopographically as
well as typologically inrcrmcdiarc between che two
alternatives. Le Vau in effecr combined chese inrermediare suburban an:angcments, pardy by applying
the umfymg lesson of Bernini's Louvre: a rusocated
base surmounced by a single order and crowned by
lmagt of tbt 51111 Kmg
hg. ..t.)2 ""- • Anon)'mOUS. Lows
Vm's onguul proJtCl
for the
bade of Verwllcs. Music National du Chire;au de
Vea.ullcs pboro: Documenr:.mon phocogaph1que de b Rfumon
des musecs nauoruw. 84 EN 3116).
Fig. ~5~ ( nghi). t'\rmbured 10 R;iph~el, P~l:tzzo Catfmll1-Vidom,
Rome (phoro: Fotorca Umonc r~85).
rig. 454 (opponu, top). Sald:issarc Pcrum, Vi lla
(phoro: Andcr..un .q850).
Fig. .1.55 (oppositt, bottom). C~rlo Maderno and Bernini, Palazzo
Barb~rini. Rome ( phoru: Fororcca U111one 10954 FG).
&mini's lmagt
of the Sun King
Bmums Image of tbt Sun Kmg
Fig. z56.
Jenn-Haptislf Martin, view of the Allee R.oy:ile,
Versailles. Grand Trianon, Versailles ( photo: Documentation
photogmphique de la Reunion des musecs narionaux 64 EN 147).
Beniini's Image ~f the Sun King
horizomal TO\>Hinc with ~cuJptured balusrndc. L~
\'au thus for the first time f ~cd rhc palace and \•1lla
cvpes inco a unified and consistent archicecturaJ ~n­
ccm char mcorporares chc cn1 ire facade. The fusion
perfectJy expres~ che umque scacus of\ hsailles JS a
royal chatcau m che venerable tradiuon scemmmg
from Cbarlemagne-Conscantinc's 'great" successor
and Louis's model in ocher respeas as well-a permanent exrra-u.rban scar of the monarchy.
ln another context :i bold observanon has recendy
been made concerning a painring of Vers:iilles by
Jean-Baptiste Martin ( Fig. 256). The view toward
rhc west of che Bassin d'Apollon and the Grand Canal
is framed by poplar lrccs, sacred co Hercules. The
;:irrangernenr seems co reflect Bernini's project for
the Louvre, whcrc the Pilbrs of Hercules would
have framed the view from che palace to rhe west, in
reference ro the Not1 Plus Ultra device used by the
Hapsburgs. 1111
Mose inrnguing of all
haw been adopted um.ii the tlnal de.:ISlon was taken
laler clue year to rct.1m rhc old building afrcr all
and rerurn co Le \ au'.s first plan.
nothing of Bcm1m ·~ projects for France
remains :!..) he intended. etthtr .-it che Loune or ac
'versailles. There on be no doubt. however. chac his
conccptton of the nobilit} and grandeur suir:ible for
a greac monarch lefr an indelible cr:ice on the French
imagination. A tragi-comical testimony co this fact
wa.s the defaccmenr and muulation
rhc cque:.trtan
portrait wit h painc and hammer. perpetrated in
1980, the triccnce11ni:il of Bernini's death ( f-:'ig. 257;
Plate XII). EvidenLiy, che vandals considered the
monument a symbol of frmch ,uJrure. and inslt'ad of
rhc inscriprion Bernini intended, they left an eloquent gra!Iico of chcir own:
the evidence recendy
cLscovered that Bem1m actually madl" :i design for
Versailles and ch:ir. for a rnnc a1 lease. his design
may have been adopted for execurion. 119 This mfor
manon 1s supplied by a sourcc rhat cannot be dismissed our of hand-a det:iiled diary of a v1si1 co
Vrrsa1llcs by the future Gr.ind Duke Costmo TI1
of Tuscany in 1669. Under che dare Augusr 11 of
char year. 1r 1s reported ch:1r work ar Versailles was
proceeding on a m:iJc~cic facade designed by Bemin1.
Except for Bernini's own expressed admiration for
Versailles during hi11 scny in Pads in t665, 120 chis
statement provides rhc (jrst di rect link berween
Bernini and thl' chatcau. No trnce of Bernini's projecL has come down to us, : ind rhc claim may well be
exaggerated. Ii 1s certainly forruirous. however. LhaL
the notice comes at JUSt the righr moment to help
explain a heremfore puzzling eptSode in che history
of the planning of Ven.a1llcs. Early in rhr summer
of 1669 work was proceeding according to a plan
bv Le V:iu that. following the king's wish. retained
chc old Petit Chatcau bu1lc b}' htS farhcr. Yet 10
June Louis suddenJy changed his mind and issued :i
pubLc declaration ch:iL he intended co demolish the
e.ttlicr srruaure. Colbert, who opposed the idea,
held an emergency 'ompcmion among half-a-dozen
French arducects, including Le Vau, for new proposals for a new Versailles. The suggestion 1s inescapable rhar rhe compecic1on was held in reactton Ct>
the receipt - perhaps unsolictred-of a project of
this kind from Bern ini. I fo .submission may even
Thr ldta of lht Pmur-1 lero
Thcrt' was a cenam ironic justice in rhe vandals'
gesture of desecr::1t1on. for Bern1m 's conception itself
was profoundly subversive, both tn its form-chc
suppression of royal and dyna:nic imagery, the portrayal of rhe king in a momentary action, rhe smile
that seemed inappropri:JLc. the tre:lllt\t'nt of marble
a.s if 1r were dough. the clcvauon of raw nature ro
the domain of high art -and rn its content. Bernini's
image of Louis XIV muse br ~een agamst a major
currem of thought concerning poliricaJ hegemony
and the qualities requited of tht ideal ruler chac had
been developing for rhe bcctcr pa.rt of a century.
The main proponen~ were the Jcswrs. who were
incenc upon responding and providing an akemaave
to Machiavelli's model of cymcaJ unscrupulousness
m the worldJy pracricc o( st.ltccrafi. Jn rhe late six
recnth and sevenceemh cenruries a veritable scream
of antt-Machiavellian literature defended che relevance of Christian moral pnnciples not only co
utop1sr1c ideals of domesric rule and foreign diplomacy bur aJso co realisru: and rnccessful .statesmanship. The key argument rn this "reason of srate" was
rhar che best fotm o( government, monarchy, while
&m111i's lmagt of rlx Su11 Ki11g
Fig. :Z.fl.
Bemmr. equestnm monuml'nt of Loms XJ\~ dtnc~
bl.· •=dais on Junt 6. rq8o. Vns:ullo photo: S1mont Hoag).
responsible ulumardy co God, was based on che
consenr of che people, char the power of chc ruler
denved prarncally from his repucaaon, and chat his
repul.:ltion m rum depended un his exercise of virtue. Bernini's profound indebtedness to tlus vrlal
crndic:ion of moral statesmanship rs evidenr in his
cxplanaaon of hts own work and the ph1losophy or
kingship ic embodied, as well as in his appropriation
of che Jesuit Claudr Mencsrncr's emblem and inrcr
precacion of che Peace of" the Pyrenees. The tradition culminated in t.hc idea of chc prince-hero, but
Bernini earned the argument a decisive seep further.
The resttainc evident in the equesr:rian porcrair and
tn the bust of Louts expressed the radical political
rdea chat che true basis of just rule lay in individual
virtue and self-conrrol rather than rn inherited rank
and unbndlcd powc.'t'. Hrs view challenged the very
foundations of cradiraonaJ monarchist ideology. lll
This fundamental cont11cc of rntecest is dramaucally illustrated by what W3$ perhaps che ma1or bone
of contenaon in rhe debates becween the artist and
Colbert and che ocher French cnucs of his design for
the Lou\'t'l': che location of the royal apamnenl. Bernini 1nmced co whar proved co be the bircer end char
the king muse be quartered in che east wing. che most
prominenr pare of the palace; he rejected the argument c:hac rhe rooms would be relatively cramped and
Bernini's Image ~f 1hr S1111 King
exposed m the wrmoil and dangers of the public
!>quart m front ( che Frondc and the Gunpowder Plot
of 1605 agamsr Jan1es I of!and had not been forgorten ). 123 Ceremony and symbolism, as such. were
nor the pmnary point; re was rather char che concerns
of safery and convenience were secondary to che
duties imposed by rhe office of ruler. Bern mi measured che stature of a ruler by the moral restraincs
and obligations or person:il leadership he underrook.
despire che discomforts and risks they emailed.
111is was precisely che point Bernini explained
to the obruse Frenchman who could no1 undemand
a happy, benevolenr expression on the face of an
anncd warrior on a martial horse-that he had
portrayed Louis enjoying the glory of vicrory attained through vinue and self-sacrifice. The passage
( quoted in n. 63) ts of further rnreresr bccau:.e it
reveals the full import of Bemmi's formaJ sub\'ersion
of hallowed tdeology, his nonviolent break wt ch
amsac convenuon and decorum. Ha,rffig given lus
explanauon, Bernini added that his mcanrng was
evrdcnr chroughour che work, bul would become
much clearer stilJ when che sculpture was seen on its
rntendcd rocky promontory. By l'3.1Stng ro lofty moral
and aesrhecic srandards a lowly and depreciated form.
he creaced a new mean:. of \'tsual expression ro convey
a new social ideal. 124
Fig. 258. Pmiccts tor the Louvre, 16.1.4- 18.1.9,
1hcque Nanonal. Pans.
!"he power of Bernini's image of the Sun King has
been reflected anew in the no less revolutionary developments that have taken place at the Louvre under
Presidem Mirrerand and the architect I. M. Pei. This
rapproch.cment across the centuries is evident in nn
anecdote recounted co me by Pei, who recalled chat on
one occasion Mit'terand said co him, "You can be sure
of one thing. Mr. Pei: r will nor abandon you as Louis
XJV abandoned Bernini!"- a promise the president
has maincained, dcspice a slOL1TI of protest against the
project for a new entrance to the new Grand Louvre.
Owing in part, perhaps, to the sheer logic o f the situation but also in part, surely, by design. Pei has brought
into being several important elements of Bernini's
dream of giving form ro the glory of France.
From the rime of L(>t1is XJV and Bernini onward,
the space between the west facade of the Louvre and
rhe Tuileries was not meant to scand empty. Many
projects were proposed ( Fig. 258 includes those dating
t624-1829), until the series finally came to an end
· in che glass pyramid designed by anorher architecr
imported from abroad, who s ucceeded in illustrating
the breadth of French vision and the grandeur of
French culture. 125 Bernini himself propo~cd fo r the
area now occupied by Pei's pyramid two theaters,
modeled o n the Colosseum and the Theater of Marcellus in Rome, one Facing the Louvre, the other rhe
Tuileries.126 Placed back to back, with room for ten
thousand spectators on either side, the cheaters would
have realized o n a monumental scale the effect of one
of Bernini's fobled comedies, in wh ich he created rhe
illusion of two theaters and two audiences in plain
view of o ne ani)ther. 127 The two theaters at the Louvre
would have reHected the s pectacle of French civic and
ceremonial life ar its very hearr.
T his is exactly what Pei has created-a great specracle at the veritable center of French cul.rural life. And
he has achieved this rcsuk, which mighc be d.:scribed
as maximum, with means that can be described as
minimum ( Figs. 259, 260 ). Apart from its symbolic
associar:ions ( Pei denies chat he intended any-cf. Fig.
261) , 128 the pyramid is the simplest and least obtrusive
o(StrUCturaJ forms, and glass, whether opn.que Or LtanS·
parent, is the most self-effacing structural material.
When the glass is opaque, ir mirrors the scene of people from all over the world who have come to enjoy,
participate in, and pay homage to French culture, with
the sacrosanct facades of the Louvre as thei r backdrop.
When the glass is rransparent, what does one see?
People from aJI over the world who have come ro
Pig. .t59. I. M. Pei, enrrancc to chc Louvl'c. Paris (pho10:
Srephen Ruscow ).
Pig. 260. I. M. Pei. encrance co rlw Louvre. i>nris (photo:
Stephen Ruscow ).
Bernini's Image
of tlie Sun
- -------------- - - ----- ---Fig. !Of.
I. M. Pei 11lu-nn1ton of JmvJnon of rht Louvl'l'
pn:~mrJ from
ii>.: gn>m•'ln< ..:onhgur.mon ul
:-.foett's g:mlfn of !ht- Twlcnt'S J1Jgr.itn ~i upptt lrfi :ind .u1al
d1>pl:iccmrnt. O..ccmbtt .:9, i989, Jr.iw1ng. Collcaiun of
rht Jurhor.
enjoy. pamcipate in, and pay homage co French culture. w1rh rhe )acros:tnCl focndcs
the Louvr(' ,ts rl1.:ir
backdrop. Either way. the pyram id itself d isappears,
b•·coming a clear nnd limpid rt>prcsentacion o ( its cnvironmenc. L2'1 Pei solwd the terrifying problem of mak
mg a monumencal rntr:ince ro the Lou\rre by creiumg
an almost mv1s1ble rhc:uer where the people of rhc
world are the actor:. and the LoU\rrc is the stage ser.
Almosr eicacrly rcn ye;u~ after its desecrac1on ;u
Versailles. Bern1ru') image of rhe Sun King
was wRscomf' case m lead1 co the space becwecn rhe
Lnuvrc and rhc Tuilencs for which ir had ongmallr
been desoned , Fig. 26.?. no The resucucion of chc
image to 1cs proper p<>s1uon of leadership provokl!d
almosc rhe same furor as 1rs ongtnal appearance in
P:m:. three cencunes bdore-appmpnartly enough.
smce Bemm1 's :.culpture. far from adhering comfortably ro the convemion~ of 1cs genre, was meanr ro
t:onvey the artist':. new. pmvoc.1l1vl', even subver.uvc,
conception or the 1Jeal head of State. ln replacing
ch" work, Pei u:.rd ne11hcr the same material nor ch1:
location Bernini had envisaged. Instead, Pei used the
image of' lht> Sun King to rr~olve •>ne of lhe hi:.toric
problems of ceremonial urbanism in Paris-the non,1lignmenr of rhc Louvre with lhc axi~ formed by the
l"uilerics, the Napoleonic arches of tnumph and chc
Champs-Elysees. Pei oriented chc horseman and his
pedestal on that :J.XIS, but aligned chr pl:ufonn bl!neath
the monumenr wirh che Louvre (Fig. 263).U1 In rhis
way. che Pei-Bemm1 1m:1ge of rhe ~un King funetions
Vt)tbly as well .is symbol1cally as the tntermedtary Link
between the old France and che new.
The whole conccprron. which 1s truly m Lhe spine
of Bernini, also fulfiJJs lkmrm's dcfirunon of rhe architcet's cask. which -cons1m not tn making beaunful and
comfortable bmldrngs. but m knowing how co mvenl
ways of usmg rhe msufficicm, lht bad. and che ill)Utted to m.'lke beautiful rhmg) m which whar had
been a defect becomes useful. so char tf it did nor
exist one would have to create 1t." 1·u
&rm111 's lmagr of tlir Sun King
di-.- :..-.:.-:-_:_-,_:__ . - .- . - .
~- . -
- - - -~
. .__. . . . . . . ~
Fig. .l62. L M. Pei, lead casr of Bernini's equestrian statue of
Louis XTY. Louvre. Paris ( photo: Srcphen Rustow).
Fig. 263. I. M. Pei, plan of the cncxance to rhe Louvre, indicating rhc cicmg of rh c e<jucscrian Louis XIV (phoro: office ofl. M.
Pei; rcdr:iwn by Susnnm· Philipp~on Curcic).
Bernini's lmagt
of the Sun Kmg
6 Bmum's lmagt
of tbt ~1111 K111g
lhi: main argument ot rh1s paper was first prescmcd
ar .1 symposium enrirled "The Ascendency of French
Culture during the Rrign of rhe Sun King," sponsored
by the folger Shakespeare Library in March 1985; an
:1bbre\'1:iccd version appeared m French ( Lavin. 1987).
<iome of rhe macenal 1s mcorpornreJ in an bS:lY
devoted co che relat1onslup of Berrum's ruler portraits
co che ":inn-Machia\·dhan" rradmon of Political rheui;·
and the tdra of che pnnce-hero Lavin. 1991 ,. fhese
)cudm. and che preceding chapcer relace co a ~em:~ of
auempu. I have made to describe rhe nature, meaning,
and devcll)pmenc of "illus1om:.m" in rhe Italian sculpturt-d bust since Lhe Rcnntssance (Lavin, 1970, 1975;
~ee furrher Lavin, 1968, 1970; with rhe collaboration
of M. Aronbcrg Lavin, 1970. 1972).
t. Some of che chough~ and ob~ecv:mons offered
here were adumbrated m Fag1olo dcll'Arco J.nd
F:igiolo ddl'Arco, 1967. 90£. and m che line
srud1es by Del Pesco. "Gl1 'anuch1 dC.'" and II
/..011'fl'fr, boch 1984. I h:ive also profited greatly
from rhe rccem monographs by Berger. ~rnaJID
and In ibt Ganim, borh 1985. For a
account of lkm1m's v1s1t. see Gould. 1982. An
cxceUenc summary on che Louvre will be found
m Braham and Smith, 1973, 120-49. i.55-64;
Daufresne, 1987, provides a useful compendium
of the many projects for the palace.
On rhe bu:.r of the king and 1~ ;inrcccdcms.
see Wirtkower, r951; I. Lavin, 1972, 177-81, and
197~. +Hfl-.
On che equesman monument. l>CC Wictkowei:;
1961. +97-531· and. w1ch supplemenrary marerial
on che SCl.tlle·:c. recepnon in Franc~ Berger, lit tbt
Ganim, 1985, 5o-63, 69-7 4; also Weber. 1985,
2881£ The lustory of cht> work i~ ~ummar1L.Cd m
Hoog. 1989. Ma1, 1975. considers che busc and
rhe equestrian cogethcr m the general concext
Louis XlY portr:iirure.
2. Chancelou, 1885; an English cranslarion by M.
Corbecr, not always reliable but w1ch excellent
:mnmacions by G. Bauer; is now available ( Chancclou. 1985).
3. Thr c:ranslacion given m Chantelou. 1985.
27+-~ ... buildings Jrr rhe mirror of pnm:es"
Pagts IJ'J-l·N
the \' CC\.' !>OUJ o( Bermm \ rnl'taphor!
Sc:I.' K.lnrorowic-4. 196;. C)p. 167-76 on L\'lui!>
X lV.
l have used rhe cd1tio11 Mcnesrrier. 1691. pl;.itc
preceding p. 5; K.mtorow1r-.t, 1963. 175. A medal
1~ued at Louis's birch m 1638 shows the: chariot
of rhe mfam Apollo, w1rh the mocco Orlld 5.,fis
Glllur ' Mene:>rner. 169~. opp. p. 4; cl. K..mtomwia. 1963. 168, 170. hg. .JS)·
( t. Kancorowic-.r., 196J, 162; Men~tner. 169,. pl.
6. no. XXYl Jones. 1982--88, IT. 222. no. 237.
Harris. A111lrr.i 5.iah1 1977. ir-13, 57-;9; Scon.
1991. esp. 381t. I have J1:.cussed the cdevancr of
Sacchi's fresco to an emblematic conceir. ako
involving the ~un and earrh. which Bernini de
signed as me fi-onrispiecc of a book on opncs, in
I. L.lVln, 1985.
Bernini must have .1s:.ociared che Barberim
\Olar imagery wirh rhat of Louis XlY v1rrn:i11y
from rhe king's birth tn 16i8. ar I~ b\' 1640,
the :u-t:isr promised ro rt\ cal co Mazarin rhc
!>(Cf'Cf of a new method he had dc\'~d
porcraymg che nsmg sun on stage. The rp1·
sude is menooned bv Baldinucci, 1948. 151
Domenico Bcrmm, 1713, 56[; and Chantdou.
1885. 116; on r:hc dace sec Bauer in Chanrelou,
1985. 143 n. 170; Bmuer ;1nd Wittkowcr, 19~1.
l3 n, 7.
8. Cl: Lavin, Bm1i1111 1980. 70-74.
9. l'hc 1mporrance of' rhis drawing and rhe solar
~ymbolism m the rrench projeccs for the Louvre
were emphasized b~· Berger f 1970) a.nd developed by Del Pesco II folfVTl, 198+. 137-72 ; :ilso
Berger. forthcoming.
C£ Chantelou, 1885. 22.4, October 11: ''Come
c'esc une ovale. 11 a du que St le pala1s du !>ole1I.
qu1 y CSl represcnle, avail CC~ de mcme fonne OU
bten rood, peur-Crrc aurair-il mieux convenu au
lieu l.'f i\U soleiJ meme."
10. Colbert: acru:illy complained aboll[ che sparseness of ornament in the second project, cspeci:iUy the absence oF any "scaru:i o c1fr:1 111
me:moria del Re" above the porral ( lercer ro
Bernini from the pap:il nuncio m Pans, M:irch
21. 166;. in Mirot. 190+ 191n.; cited bv Del
Pe~co, II uuvrr, 1984, 140 ; Bem1m. m rum h:id
criric1zrd rhe minor ornaments in the facade~
Loui!> Le Vau!> pro1ecr ~ being "p1u propnt pt:r
un obmeno. che ~r le facciate d1 un gran paluzo" ( lcuer of March ?7, M1rot, 1904, 1920.\
11. Bernini'!> m1ual reaction is reported in several
lencn. wmrcn by Italian members of the court:
"Fui pcro da lui Li.e. Bernini] mercordl sera
doppo chc hebbr visro ii Louvre. e per qucl chr
mi di!>~t.' pensa chc ljUcl che t fouo po!>Sa M!rVlr!'
poco" 1 lem:r of the papal nuncio, June 5, 1665,
tn Scht;\\Q, 1956. iJ.;: Ms, dicr: che le pnme rmposwont furono di battere cucro a ll'ffil, ti che
mes:;e an confus1one quesri franc~•~ ( letter of
Alberro Caprara 10 the duke of Modena, June
r9, in Fraschen:i, 1900, 34z n. 1): " ... havendo
deno daJ primo giorno, che b1sognava abb:in:erc
rurro 11 Louvre ~e M havesse voluto fare quakhe
cosa d1 buono ... Hora se ndorto a dire, che
fara 11 d1~0 per la focc1ata del Lou\'IT in
modo, che si arcaccarii assai bene con la fabbnc:i
vecch1a .•. Ma non s1 pacl:l p1u d1 lcvare ii
primo piano. che e quello die havrebbe obligate
Jd abb:mcre tuuo ii Louvre ... " ( lcner of Carlo
Vigaram to the duke of Modena, June 19. in
Fraschem. 1900. 343 n. 1).
12. "j'Ji \1u. Sire. a-c-11 die ii S.M .. It!> p;tlais de~
empetturs et do p:ipes, ceux des pnnces souveC:lins qui ~e Lrouvcf!; sur la rollle de Rome h
Pans, ma1s iJ fou1 fo1re pour un rot de France, un
roi d'aujourd'hui, de plus grandc:. er magnifiques
choso que rouL ccla." The passage 1s followed
by elm quoted in che first epigraph co chis essay
p. ll9 . to which rhe Kmg replied, ~il av.tit
quelque affecraaon d.r: conserver ce qu'av:m:nc
fair se.s pridecesseucs, mais que s1 pou:rranc l'on
ne pouv;ut ricn faire de grand snns abacrre lcur
ouvrage. qu'il le lui abandonna1t: que pour l'argcm ii ne J'epargner:lit pas" (Chanrelou, 1885. 15.
June 4 ).
13. Bernini acknowledged che pracucal and nnanctaJ
cons1dcrat1ons m a memo he read to che king.
adding, ·comme l'etage du plan terrain du Louvre
n'a pas .~ez d'cxhau.sscment, ti ne le faJC serv1r
dan.s sa fai;:ade que comme si c'ecait le piedestaJ
de l'ordrc corinrhien qu'iJ mer au-dessus" (Chanrelou, 1885. i.?f:. June 9).
14.. The solution perfecrly illuscrates B~rnini's view
chat rhe .1rch1tcct'!> ch1d merit lar not m making
beauafuJ or commodious buildings bur m adapting co necc~IC)' and U)mg de.fee~ m :.uch .l W.l\
char if rhe\ did nor CXLSC they would have co be
made: " ... d1ceva non cssere ii sommo pregto
dcll'arteficc 11 for belli~sim 1 e comodi edilici, ma
ii sapere inventar maniere per servirsi de! poco,
dcl cacrivo e male adattJtO al bisogno per for
cose belle e far si, che ~1a utile quel che fu
1:fifeuo c che, !>t non fusse, bisogncrebbe farlo·
\.Baldmucc1, 1948, 146; c£ Bcrmm, r713. F·J·
15. Reference) co the rusttcarion occur m Chantclou's diary on lune ?O; September .l.2, 25, 26,
29, 30; October 6 (Chantelou, i885, 36, 176,
179, 182. 189, 19z. .!.OJ).
16. " ... un ecueil ou especc de rochei; sur lequel 11 a
fair l'asMecte du Louvre, lcqud ii a couvcn: d'un
pap1er ou ccaJt dessme un rusc1quc, fiuc pour
avoir a cho1si.r, a cause que cer ecueil ecait de
diflialc cxecuuon. le Roi ayanr considere l'un cc
l'aurte, a die qut: cer ecueiJ lu1 plais:tit bien plus,
Cl qu'il voulair yu'il fut execute de Jn son:e. Le
Cavalier lui J dit qu'il l'avai1 change. s'imagmam
que, comme c'esr une pcnsfr route nouvelle, que
JXUH~lrt ellr ne plair:11t pas. oucrc qu'iJ faudran
quc CCC etUCll, pour reussir Jans SOil lllCC?nOOn,
fUt c:xecurt de sa main. Le: Rot a repctc que cela
lu1 phus:uc cxtrememenc. ~ur guo1 11: CavaLcr lu1
a die qu'il :i la plus grandc: joic du monde de
voir comb1cn S.M. a le gout fin ct delicnc, y
ayanc peu de gens, mane de la profession. quc
eusscnt pu en iuger s1 b1cn" Chancelou, 1885,
36, June 20)·
17. On the history of rusric.lnon. see most recently
Ackerman. 1983, 27ff.; Fagiolo. ed.. 1979. Bernini's use of rusticac1on has been created mosr
extensively by Borsi ( 1967, 2cr-43), but the
nature and s1gru6cance of his concr1buaon have
noc been de.lrly defined.
As far ~ I can see, the firsr ro noce !.he duracter and inrimare the significance of Bernini's
rusacat1on was Quarrcmcre de Quincy m hLS
E11ryclopidit anicle on "Opposition": "Ainsi, des
blocs laisses brut:s, des pic1Tes de taille rusriguecs,
donnerom aux soubasscmens d'un mooumem
une apparcnce de massiviti donr !'opposition fera
paraitre plus elegances !es parties er les ordonnances supfoeurcs. L:emploi de ce genre d'opposirion entre !es maceriaux a quelquefois ete porr.e
plus loins. 11 y ,, des exemples de plus d'un edifice. o u l'ardutecture a fait encrer clans son apparcil, des pierrcs tdlcmcnt caillees et fa~onnees en
foane de rochcn. que leur oppos1Lion avec le
rescc de la conscrua:ion semble avo1r eu pour
buc, de donner l'idee d'un monument pr.mque ec
comme fonde sue des masses de roes narurels.
Tel esr a Rome ~ut -Ctre dans un sens allegorique) le palais de JUSCice a MonLe-Cit0rio"
(1788- 1825, Ill, 36). The reference was brought
co my accenrion by Sylvia Lavin.
18. See r:he chapter on these types in Wues, i933,
73lf. For the founmin iUustraced in Figure 195,
see Zangheri, 1979, 157£, and 1985, 38f£;
Vezzosi, ed, 1986, 138[
19. See now Salomone. m Fag1olo, ed. 1979.
20. Ao indicative m point is the rtport concerning Filippo StroZZJ's feigned modesty m
building bis palace in Florence: ~Olcre a molc'alm spese s'aggmnse anco quella de' bozzi di
foori. Filippo quanco piu si vedeva mciure, camo
maggiormente sembianza fuceva di mcarsi, e per
nience diceva di voter fore 1 bozzi, per non csser
cosa civile t: di troppa spesa" (Gaye, 1839-40,
1::355; cited by Roth, t917. 13, 97 n. 22; Sinding
Larsen, 1975, t95 n. 5).
Many passages concerning rustication are
assembled in an anicle by Morolli, in Fagiolo,
ed.. 1979.
2 1. "There are some very ancienl castles still co be
seen ... builr of huge unwroughc stone; which
sort of work pleases me extremely. because re
gives the building a rugged air of :umque severity, which is a very great ornament to a town.
I would have 1.he walls of a cic:y builr in such a
manner, 1.haL the en!!J11y ;tt the bare sighc of
them may be struck with terror, and be sent
away with a distmsL of his own forces" (Alberti,
1965, Bk. Vil. ch. 2, p. r35); "Vtsuncur et vetusta
oppida .. . lapide .utrueta pcaegcandi inccrto et
vasto, quod nuht quidem opus vehemencer probacur: quandam cnim prae se fert rigidicatcm
Nora to Pages 147.:...[55
sevensstmae verustatis, quac urbibus ornamento
esL Ac velim qmdem eiusmodi esse urb1s murum,
uL eo specrato ho m h ostis el mo x diffiden~
abscedat" (Alberti, 1966, 539).
22. On the first of the~e poinrs see, for example,
Serlio's remarks concerning r:he mixture of nature
and artifice, quoted by Ackerman, 1983, 2.8: "It
would be no error 1f withm one manner one
were co make a mixlurc representing in way
partly rhe work of rua(ure and partly the work of
artifice: thus columns bound down by rustic
stones and also thr archimve and frieze inrer·
rupted by voussoirs reveal the work of nature,
while capitals and pans of the columns and also
the cornice and pedimem represenL tht: work of
the hand; and this 1ruxcure. according to my
Jlidgement, greatly pleases rhc eye and represents
io itself great strcngth.n
On the second poinc, Ackerman, 1983, H·
.z.3. Baldmucci. 1948, 140; Bernini, 1713, 89; for a
detailed analysis of these swdies see Courtrighc,
m Lavin tt aL, 1981, 108-19.
i+ For a brief summary and recenr bibliography,
see Borsi, i980, 315. Bernini's original project,
idemiiied by the arms of Innocent X over die
portal, is recorded in a painting in the Camera
dei Deputati, Rome (Figs. 202, 203), ofren attributed to Bern ini's assistant, Mattia de' Rossi
(cf Borsi et al, t972., fig. r6).
The palace wa.s left half-finished after 1654,
following a rupture between the pope and his
niece's husband Niccolo Ludovisi; it w:i.s finally
completed in the early etghteenth century. Only
the rustic:ired strip to t11e right of the central
block was fully "fimshed," along wich the rusocated window sills ( another so:iking innovation
tn lhe design. which Bemrm did not repeat for
the Louvre); see now Terracina and Vicronni,
25. Jordan, 1871-1907, I, pt. 3, 603; Gnoli, 1939,
26. The possibility 1.hat this projecL ( for which )Ce
further below, p. q8 and n. 84) originated with
Bernini's plans for !he Pafa:ao Montecirorio w;u
evidendy fuse Capasso m 1966;
aced by Fagiolo dell'Arco and Fagiolo ddl'Arco,
1967. 436 fig. 47. scheda 401; followed by
Krautheimer, 1983, 207.
27. Jordan, 1871-1907, I, pr. l· 603; cf. Nardini.
1666, 349·
28. The base of the column of Antoninus Pius, now
tn the Vat1ctn, :md a portion of the shaft were
exc:iv:u:ed early tn the eighc:eentb century, toward
tlte end of which che present installation with
the obelisk of Augustus was also created
(D'Onofrio, 1965, 238ff.. 28ofE). Early depictions of the Aurdian column nre listed and some
reproduced in Caprioi et al, 1955, 42; Pietrangeli,
955· 19lf
The engra\~ng by Johann Meyer the Younger
ap~:u:s in Sandra.rt, 1665-79. rr. pl. xxrr.
Reproduced. withour reference co Sancbrt and
dated in the eighteenth century, in Angdi, 1926,
49· Lauro, 16u-41. pl. lOI, cited by Del Pesco, LL
Louvre, 1984, 145f(, and idem, "Una fo nte," 1984,
30. " . . . sopra detto scoglio dalle parte della porta
principaJe invece d'adomamenro di doi colonne.
vi ha facto due gandi Ercolt, che lingono guardarc ii palazzo, alle quali ii sig. caval. gli d2 un
scgnificaro e dice Etcole e t1 delta vertU
per mezzo della sua fone.zza e facica, quale
ris1ede Sil U monce delJa fatica chc e lo scogJio
.. . e dice chi vuole risiedere in questa regia,
bisognia che p:issi per mezzo dell.a verdt e dell.a
faLica. Qual'pensicro e alegoria piacque grandamence a S. M., parendogli che havesse dd grande
e del sencesioso" (Miroc. 1904, 218n., Mattia de'
Rossi, June 46}
31. Millon, 1987, 485f£. has n:ccndy discussed the
rclaoonship between Bemmi's designs for the
Louvre and the early reconstrucrions of the
pnlace of the Caesars on the Palatine. Professor
Millon very kindly shared with me the Palatine
material he collected.
~2. On the history of Lrus view of the Palatine. sec
Zema 196s.
33. " ... Ii Romani ancichi con questo 1J1Segnauano.
che nissuno doueua essere honorato. o desider.uc
honon, chc non fossc cnmto, c lungamentc con
profitto dimoraco oelle virru ... Da che dou.rcb-
bono gli Principi pigliare occasione di fabricarc
ncll'animi loro simili cempij d'Honore. e Vircu
[see die dictum by Bernini rhat serves as the
epigraph for this chapter] ... ne giam:U volsero
acceccare il tirolo di Massimo, se prima per vimJ
non lo mericauano . . . come ... fccero T raiano.
& Antonino, It quali perche appoggiarono le
arrioni loro alJa v1rtu, le hanno conseruace. &
..Uesc coorro la violenz.:a dd tempo, guerre, &
calamita publiche, come si puo comprendere
<laJle due bellissime Colonnc che a honor di essi
furono fabricate, & hoggi nella be!le-.cta, & inLegricl antica si conseruano" (pl. 3ov; the full Latin
text w:as quoted by Del Pesco, "Una fonce,"
1984, 43¥ n. 25).
H· Korte. 193). 22(, pl. 11. Two drawings for the
fresco are preserved. one in the Morgan Library,
where the buildings are labeled, the ocher in
Berlin (c:f Winner. 1962, 168ft. 6g. 14; Heikamp,
1967, 28£, fig. 22b). T he Temple of fame had
parcicular me1:.1phoricaI signwcMce in artistic
o rcles; it was also used by Van Mander ( 19n.
TI1ere was a mdmon of temporary fesoval
decorations in Turin char may ha~ been
co Bernini's idea: a hilly facade ( m n:fCrcnce LO
che Piemooce) was erected in front of the
Palano Ducale, copped by a pavilion or cemple
and, in 1650. an thborate Herculean allegory
(Pol11k, 1991 , 63, 137C); for other connections
with Turin, seen. 68 and pp. 174f.
35. O n Alexander, H elios, the divinely inspired ruler.
and the idea of apotheosis in ancient ponr.urure,
sec LOrange, 1982, 34-36.
36. •·1~ Cavalier a dit ... que la tcce du Roi avair de
celle di\lex:andre. particul1herncnl le Front et l'a1r
du visage" (Chanrelou, 1885, 99, Augusc r5).
37· " ... if m'a diL ... qu'il venail de Sortir un eveque,
t}Ui !tti avaic die que son buste ressemblait aux
mcdaiJles d'Alexandce, Ct que de [ui donner pour
picdestal un mondc. ti lui en ressemblait encore" (Chanrelou, 1885, q8, September
25). Mii a ajoutc que plusieurs avaient crouve que
le bUSte av.Ur de ces belles reres di\.lexandre..
(Chantelou, 1885, 187, September 27).
38. •• ... le buste a beaucoup de l' d'Alexandre et
Notes to Pagts 155-162
tournair de cot.C comme l'on voit aux mcdailles
d'Alcxandre" (ibid, 183, September 26).
On cl1e relationship to ancienr Alexander portraiture. see Lavin, 1972, 181 n. 71. On the coin
of Vespasian reproduced here, see Yermcule, 1986,
11; I am indehred to Dr. Yermeule for kind
assisiance in che numismatics of Alexander.
M. J. Price brought to my attenuon a com of
Alexander of Pherae in which a dm:e-quaner
head of Hecate appears oo rhe obverse (Gardner
and Poole, 1883, 47 no. 14> pl X fig. 11). The
rd:monship ro Alexander and allegorical portraiture gene.rally was formulated perfectly by
Wittkower, 1951 ( 18): "Bernini rejected the
popular rype of allegorical portraiture then in
fovour at the court of Louis XIV which
depicted le Roi Sole/I in the guise of Apollo, of
Alexander, or of a Roman Emperor. Berninj's
allusion co Aleirander was expressed by physical
and psycholog1cal a.fftnities, noc by cxtemaJ
:icmbuces." Allegory was confined ro the base,
which also remforced che all~-10n to Aluandrr;
see pp. 163-66.
On the work shown in Fig. 2.14' see Haskell and
Prnny, 1981. 134-36; on that in Fig. z.15, set
Hdbig. t963-72, 11, 229£ (the head has holes
thai. served co hold metal rays).
Haskell and Penny, t981, 291-96; on Bernini
and the Pasquino, see Lavin tt aL, L981, ~9f.
Cf. Lavm, 1972, 180 n. 67; on the treatmenc of
the arms generally, 1nfE Vergara, i983, 285, has
also seen Berruru's reference to dus model. perhaps through the incwnediary of one of Van
Dyck's serits of prints. the ltonogniplry; io
adopting the pose Yan Dyck su:nihrly raised the and glance to suggcsr some dist:1.nt and
lofty goal or VtSion.
"Tl m'a ajoure qu'il s'ecaic ewdie a faire, the non
partsu cbe fJUlSlo svolazzy Josse sopra 1m cbrodo ... ''
(Chantelou, 1885, t66, September 19).
See l. Lavin, 1972, t8o n. 68; on the treatment
of the drapery generally, 177f£
Gamberti. 1659, frontispiece. The book (for
which see Souchom. 1988, 58£) i.s :t description,
profusely illusa:aced, of che decorations erected
for Francesco's funer:il in 1658. The dedicaaon is
Notts to Pagrs 162-166
an tlahorate metaphor on Bernini's ponrait,
which in the engraving has at the base pap:J and
Constaminian insigma that announce the idea of
the ideal Christian niler. Since, as is noted in the
Litle of the book, Fmncesco was commander of
the French troops in luly, Bernini may have had
:.-pecial reason co recall the work in connection
with dtc bust of the King.
There is no evidence thac the pedtStal shown
m the cngravmg was Bcmiru 's conccpaon; how
ever. its expanding shape. apart from formal consrdcrations, would havr hdped keep specucors :u
a distance, something wr know he considered in
designing the Loms XIV base (Chancclou, 1885,
150, ptember 10) .
On the notion of the heroic monarch, see De
Mattei, t98i.-84, Tl, 21f[ De Mattei ci.ces die
following de6.nmon by Gamheni, which is r.ntercsting in our contcxl noc onJy for the concept
tcsdf but also for the sculpture me:eaphor and
the conttdSI: made between crude base and
heavenly head: "Okre J pnmo nome d.r Prmape,
v'ho aggiwno il secondo di Eroc, la cw de6nizmne si puo crarrc aJ nostro proposicio cola di
Luciano: Hms est q11i ntqiu homo tst, n"f"l Deus, ti
sirrml ulm11Uf11e est [ Lucian. Dial 3]. E l'Eroc quasi
diss1 una terza naturn. c:d una srarua di cleuro.
fabricata con l'oro ddla Oivinita e coll'argento
dclle piu squisite prerogauve dell'esserc umano:
bensl soscenuc:i in pie da una base di sozzo
fango, ma pero circond.aca sul capo con una rea1e
f~a dal Cielo" ( Gamberti. t659, l02).
For more on me throry of prince~hero and
the related anci-Machi:wdli:in tradition of politicaJ ideology. see pp. 195£
46. The images of Henry IV were made for mumphaJ entries: Yivant1, t967, t88, pl 2u- b; c£
Bardon, 1974, 65, 141, pl XXXJV B.
On the anciem proLOcypcs for Bemim 's pedcscal, see I. Lavm, 1972, i8of.; D. Rosenthal,
19761 cites the depiction of Monarchia
Mondana in Ripa's uonologia, where the
ruler is shown seated on the globe. For the
emperor enthroned on the globe m anoquity,
sec MacCoanack, 1981, 127-29.
47. 11x Sun King, 1984, 182. no. 3; la Gobtl1ns, 1966.
s. .
no. t; Char/ts Lt Brun, 1963, 239 no. 98;
Moncagu, 1962; F'enaille, 1903-23, f, 9-15; Jouin,
1889. 553£
48. Bernini visired the Gobelin t.1pestry factory and
greatly praised Le Brun's designs on September 6
- "II a fore loue lcs des.sins er tableaux de
M. Le Brun ec la fe:rtilice de son invention"
(Chantelou, 1885, 40) - four days before he:
designed the pedesu.l for the bust (see n. 50
49. Pollitt, 1965, 145.
50. "Jc lui ai r di r quc sa pensce sc rapporte encore
a la devise du Roi, donr le corps
that d1e smile and the victory (fogs were introduced l:tte in the executio n of du: work, fo llowing Louis's victorious campaign in Holland in
the spring of 1672.
59. The only records of the original face, rwo medals by Antonio Travam of about 1680 (c£ Figs.
231. i.32). seem co me quite compatible with the
face as we have it now ( the replaced nose notwithstanding). Nor do r consider contradictory
to this idealization Elp1dio Benedcm's statement
in September 1672 tha t rhe face closely resembled char in other portraits of the king chat had
been sent
Rome (see Wittkower, 1961, 504 n.
est un soletl avcc le mot: Ner plunbu.r 1mpar"
(Chantdou. 1885, 150, September 10); cf also
face, see also Berger, In 1bt Canlm, 1985, 107 n. 11.
I mighr add char there ts no real evidence thac
Dd Pesco,
11 Louvrr, 1984, 153 n. 16.
525, no. 47). On d1e youthfulness of the
51. See n. 37 above.
the smile tr.self~ found offensive. The specific
52. For all these poinr.s, ~e Wicckower. 1951, 16, 17,
objection raised by a Frenchman, co which Ber-
18. The passage in Chantdou concerning chi:
subde expression of the mo uth is wo rth g uoring:
"Le Cavalier, continuant de tr:wailler
ala boud1e,
a dit gue. pour r~ussir dans un poro:aic., il foul
prendre un acte et cacher 3 le bien representer;
que le plus beau temps qu'on pubse choistr pour
la bouche c:sr quand on vient de parler ou qu'on
v;a prendrc: la parole; qu'il chm:hc a attrapcr ce
moment" ( Chantclou, 1885, 133, September 4).
53. On the French tradition, see M. Marcie, 1986;
Prinz and Kccks, 198s, 252-61; Scheller, 1985,
52ff. T he Lo uvre projects widl equesrrian starucs
mounted on die fucade are conveniently reproduced io Del Pesco, ll
Lowm, 1984, figs. 56, 57.
nini's reply is quoted in the text,
that the
smile was inappropriate to the military bearing
of man an d horse. Domenico Bernini reporr.s the
episode as a 01isu11dcrstanding of Bernini's intcnuon. based on a conventional view of the king
and army commandc~ ( the passage 1s quoted in
full IO IL 63 bdow). There was, tncidcnrally, 3
venerable equestrian monument wilh a smiling
rider. Cangrandc ddh Scala at Verona (Panofsky,
1964, 84, figs. 385, 387).
60. Cf. Tbt Sun King, 191 no. 20; Berger, lri the Gt1r1Un
1985, to, fig. 7.
61. "l uvat ora tueri mixra nocis bcUi placidarnque
gcrentia pacem" (Si/var, 1. 1, 15-16; Scatius, 1928,
l, 6).
54- See J. Brown and Elliott, 1980, m:ff; Torriti,
1984, 5of£ Bur sec also n. 72 below.
55. See p. 175 and n. 73 below.
56. On these gesmres, see Lavin, "Duquesnoy's
'Nano di Crequi;" l970, PP· 145[ n. 78.
57. T he analogies with the Piazza Navona foun tain
62. The locus dtwrcus of the theme is in Hesiod's
Woris and Days, lines 2.89-91: " . .. between us
and Goodness the gods have placed the sweat of
our brows: long and steep is the path that leads
her, and it is rough at 6rsc; but when a man
has reached the top, then she is easy to reach,
and the Louvre rusricacion were also observed by
Lhough before that she was hard" ( H esiod, 1950,
2.ef.). Bernini's notion
in Chantelou, 1985, 37£ n. U). Witdcower
(1961, 508ff.) discussed the relationship with the
rhc mountain as the reward of virtue depends on
Pegasus-Mount Parnassus theme. which
a tradiuon stemming from Pccrarch ( c£ Wirr-
often conlla.ted wtth char of Hercules ar the
58. Wiclkower (1961, 502-s) ;ugues convincingly
of Glory at the apex of
kowei; 1961. 507£). Sec also pp. t82-85, 187[
63. The cranslauon, with some alterations, is &om
Wiu.kower, 1961, 503. I quote the whole passage,
Nous to Pages 166-172
wlucb concerns an '"ingegnoso cavalier Fr:mcese.
che assuefatto allil visca de! suo Re in ano Maesroso, e da ConJowere di Esercici, non lodava,
che qui allora coU':nmarura pur'indosso, e sopra
un Cavallo medcsim:m1enre guerriero, si dimosrrasse nel volto giulivo, e piacevole, che piu
disposro pareva a dispensar grazie, che ad acrer-
rir'irumici, e soggiogar Province. Po1chc sp1c-
g0gli a lungo la su.a inrenziooe. quale, bcnche
(spressa adequacamcmc ancoca ncll'Opcra. ruttavia non arrivo a comprendere il ogua.rdante.. Dissegli dunque, No11 havrr'tgli figurato ii Rt l.uigi in a110
Ji commandarr a g/1 f.stmt1, cosa., dx ji11almtnt rpropru1
J; ogni Principe, mu bavtrlo vo/1110 &ollocarr i11 1mo stato,
al quale 11011 altri, che rsso era potuto giu11ge1t, t cio ptr
nuzzy Jelle S1U gloriose oper~oni. E come cht fingono i
Potci risiedtr la gloria sopra un'altissimo, td erto Monu,
nella cui sommita mri so11 q11elli, cbe Jacilmmu vi poggiano, ragion vuolt, the tpm, dx pur filicemmu 111 arriwno Joppo 1 supmw Jisagg1, g1cxo111lammtc rrsplnno
allltum di 'fl'llla soavwnuz t)mia, dx pa t.Uttgli cosuua
Jisastn"' tmflllli, gb 1 wnro pru CIUil, ifuatllo piw nnmstt'llOlt gb fa lo stmro dtlla salita. E pmht il Ri L11ig1 ton
ii lungo corso Ji tantt 1/lustri vmorit haww gi.a supm110
l'trto ib tp4tl Monte, egli sopra 'fl'll Cin'llllo lo coliMllWI ntl
colmo di wo, pieno possesson di tp4tlla gloria, tbr a costo
Ji sangue bawva acqmslato 11 suo nome. Ondt ptrrht ?
qualita propria di chi gode la giqvialita dtl volto, & un}Nvenmte riso dtlla boua, qui11di e, cht talt appmrto haveva
rupprese11tato qutl M.onarta. Oltraabe, bmcht qumo suo
pm.rim si pollS'St ben rawisaTr nrl Tutto di 'f'ul gran
Colosso, tuttavi.a molto p1u manifato appanrrbbt, '{U1111do
colkar si chn'(S.St nel luogo dtstuuuo. Poi&ht cola dovtasi
stolpir rn aluo Mimno una Rupe ~onata ma, t
SlOS<t.Sl, scpm mi bavmbbt rn bd modo a posarr 11 Cavallo
ton 'fl'll Jistgno, din Jatto nt ~"(Bernini, 1713,
64. Bocchi, 1555, CLXXVID£, Symb. LXXXV titled
"Felicicas prudemiae ct diligentiae ultima est"
(cf. Massari, 1983, II, 108, 2 10). The relevance of
Bocchi's emblem is confirmed by the fact chat it
W:lS imitated in cwo engrnvings illustrating an
encomium of Louis published in 1682 by ElpiJjo Benedem, Colbcrr's agenc in Rome, who was
closdy acquainted with Bernini's ideas (cf Wittkower. 1961, 51of., figs. 28, 29).
Nous to P.iff 172
65. " ... un gran sasso d'un sol pezzo, che s1 dice
essere il maggiore. che lino a di nosrri ~ia sraro
percosso da scalpdlo ... " (Baldinucc1, 1948,
t26); " ... figura ::i Cavallo in Grandezz:i. superiorc :tlla gia fartil ddl'fmpcr:idor Cos1:intino";
" ... un Masso smi!.urato di marmo, superiore in
gr:tndez:7.a a quanti giammai ne vidde 13 Cinadr
Roma" (Bernini, 171 3, 146. 148). 1amais 11\ntique ria mis en oeuvre un bloc de marbre ~1
grand. Le piedesuil, le cheval & la figure bien
plus hauce que nature, soot d'une seule piece, le
route isole" (Cureau de la Chambre. L1685 , u);
on this publication, see Lavm, 1973, 429.
Domenico Bernini ( 1713, 107) reports that rhe
Constantine was carved from a block of 30 tarretall, or 30 x 362.43 cm3 =10.87 m3 ( c£ Z upkc,
1981, 85; K1apisch-Zubcr, 1969. 72£). The equestrian Louis XIV measures on 366h x 3641 x
15ow :: 19.98 m3• Titese cl:ums evidently discounted the ancient cradition char chc much
larger Farnese BuJJ was made ex uno lapuk.
The Ceat of c.trYmg a life-Stze Cn:esundmg
equestrian statue from a smgle block was
extolled m che fourteenth century, with reference
to the monument of BernabO VtScoou m Milan
(Pope-H ennessy, 1972, 201).
66. Vitruvius, 1931-34, J, 72f. Dezallit•r d~rgenvillc,
1787, I, z.20-22, refers Lhe Alexander story to
Bernini':> sculpllm; citing Jean Barbier d'Aucour
( 1641- 94). lL should be borne in mind char
metaphorical mount.iins generally were then
much m vogue 111 Rome, mountains fooning
part of che family :urns of Fabio Chigi, che
reigning pope Aluander VII ( 1655-67). The
story was applied to the pope in a composition
by Pietro da Corrona (cf. Noehles, 1970, 16. 36.
Ilg. i.7; Korte, 1937. 305(; Fagiolo, in &rmni 111
~tlfano, 1981, 159f.; sec also n. 75 below). Recent
cont.ributions on the Oinocrates theme are
Oechslin, 1982; Meyer, 1986.
The size of Bernini's sculpture ru1d the reference to Alexander and Mount Athos arc Ute
ouin theme of a poem eulogizing the work
writcen by rhe ~at Bolognese an crtuc and
historian Carlo Cesare Malvasia, printed as a
broodside in 1685. As far as I know. the ccxr has
never b4!en cited m rhe licmrurc on the sculprure. J reprint 1c here, in octmso, from a copy in
the Princeton Univeniicy Library:
Questa di bd Descrier Mole fasros:i
ln soscena- dd RE 11mago viu.a,
E la p1u del Bernini opra famosa,
Ch'etema lode al suo gran nome ascriua.
Con cssa ma1 Ji garegg1ar non osa
Greco scalpello, e non mai lima Argiua;
E vinta c qudl'idca sl ardimcncosa,
Che far di vn monre vn'Alessandro ardiua.
Pure al degno l.auor- niega, o concrasra
Li pcnuna dd manno 1J pregio incaero,
Quasi picoola sia mole ~i vasu;
Che 1J Colosso a formar del R.E GVERRlERO.
Maggior dJ vn Alessandro. oggi non basta
D'Aco e di Olimpo il dopp10 giogo alocro.
Humiliss.. e Deuotiss. Seruitore
Carlo Cesare Malv:isia.
Ndl:i Stamperia <lella Reucrcnda Ca-
mera Apostolica.
(The broadside is pan of a collection mentioned
by Lindgren and Schmidt, 1980. 187.)
67. Lavin, 1977-78, 20££: Mockl~ 1967, 23(
68. On his way north Bernini stopped tn Florence
for thru days and in Tuan for cwo. His regal
r:reaanenr by Ferdinando II of Tu.sany and
Carlo Emanuele of Savoy is described by BaJdinucci. 1948, n7(, and Bemuu, 1713, t25.
Bernini :ilso stopped in Turin on his way back
ro Rome (cf. Mirot:, 1904, 260 n. 2 ); a product
o ( 1.his visit was his role in an imaginary dialogue
describing die ducal hunting lodge. published by
Di Casrcllamonce. J674 (see "Madacna Reale"
prologue); funhel; Clarecca, 1885, 517££;
Cavallari-Murar, 1984, 347ff.
69. For the faas presented here see Haskdl and
Penny, 1981, 165-67, with references, and the
imponanr results of che recent restoration of the
group in Tl 1oro, 1991. The Farnese Bull me:isurcs
cm 37oh ;< 1951 x 293w = 31.98m·'.
70. I am indebted ro Signoria Nicolcttn Caaniel of
Florence. who helped with the recenc resroration
of d1e group, for obuining 1r.s d imensions: on
285h x 1001 x 13ow =741m3 (c£ n. 65 above}.
Avery, 1987. 11?£
71. Avery ;md R..1dcliffe, eds.. 1978-79, 22.l, no.
n9. On the mono, from Virgil, AmnJ IX. 641,
see Cheles. 1986, 63; Cieri Via. 1986, 55 n. 18;
Tenzer, 1985, 240. 317 n. 124.
72. See most rccencly, Viale, ed., 1963, Il, 2~
Rivalca's horse was itself a substicULe for an
unexecuccd project of 1619 by Pietro Tacca that
would have preceded the Philip IV in MadJ·id as
the first modern rearing equesLrian monument in
bronze (c£ Torriri, 1984' 31ff.; K. J. Watson, in
Avery 2nd Radcliffe, eds., 1978-79, 182().
73. The relu.ion to che Coosranone is documented
in an exchange ofleuers becwten Colbert
and Bernini: ·Jome que le bloc de marbre que
vous avcz demande a esci dans la veue de
faire la figure du Roi de la manierc de cellc
de vostre Constantin, en changeant oeannnoins
quelquc chose d:IIls l'accitudc de la figure er
du cheval en sorte que l'on nc puisse p:is dire
que s'en e~t une Coppic, er que d'ailleurs ce
bloc de marbre a l'estenduc er le~ mesures
necessaires pour ... " ( December 6, i669,
Pans, Bibl1orheque Naoonale. MS lat. 2083,
259£, quoc~d in part by Winkowel; 1961, 521,
no. 23); Bernini's response: "'Quesca smcua sad
dd runo divers.a 2 quella dj CosWtcino, pcrche
Coscancmo scl in aero d'amirare la Croce che
gl'apparve, e qutsta del Re sucl in atto di
maesra, e di comando, ne io mat havrei permesso, che la smrua de! Re fosse una copia di
quella dt Costantino" (December 30, Wittkower,
1961, 521. no. 24, cf p. 5or). On the equestrian
figures of Constanri1Je-Ch:irlemagm•; Seidel,
74- The med:ils, by Antonio were first published by Dworschak, 1934, 34(
Notrs to Pages 172-175
75. The same motto had been used by Stefano della
Bella in an allegorical composition of J66r showing the Chigi mountain emblem ( c£ n. 66
above) as the Mountain of Vtrtue whose tortuous path is recommended by the Wise Men
of antiquity and rhe prudent Hercules: "Per
salebrosus Montium anfractus certissimum esse
Vinutis, ad Beatitudinem, ac ad Superos iter,
fuit commune Sapienriorum ludicium, prudens
Herculis ad posteros documentum" ( Donati,
1939; c£ Bernini in 11lticano, 1981, 162; Massar,
1971, 61£, no. 69, pl. :z.5).
According to Cureau de la Chambre ( 1685,
:z.3), the statue was co have been inscr.ibed with
the motto l?tr ardua: "D doic y avoir un Inscription Latine au bas, qui en deux mots renferrne
rour ce qu'on peuc dire sur un sujec si hero'ique.
PER ARDUA. Le depart de cecce Statue a donne
lieu de supposer un Dialogue .. . " This passage
was added to the version of the "Eloge" primed
in the Journal des Sfavans in 1681, for which see
Wittkowcr, 1961, 529.
76. "Virtus in astra tendit" (Seneca, Hercules Ottati1s,
line r971 ). On the theme generally, see Panofsky,
1930, 45ff.; Hommel, 1949·
77. This medal is reproduced by Menestrier, 1693,
pl. :z.9, no. CLD, with the fo llowing caption: "La
Ville de Rome a consacre ce Monument au zele
et la Victoire qui eleve la Couronne
Royale au dessus de la Croix que tient la Religion et qui a l'heresie sous ses pieds, assure que
On the French king as Rex Christianissim11s, see
De P:mge, 1949· In connection with this epithet,
Fumaroli has emphasized the sacerdotal nature
of Louis's conception of kingship (see Fumaroli,
1986, 108ff.). The tapestry series of the life of
Constantine, begun by Louis XIII :10d completed by Urban Vlll, had drawn a connection
between the French king, Constantine, and the
pope (Dubon, 1964).
Louis adopted the tide Magnus only in 1672
(see Jacquioc, 1967, 190 n. 1).
Nous to Pages 175-177
78. " ... il lui etait venu clans la pensee de faire dans
cet espace deux coionnes commc la T rajanc et
l'Antonine et, enrre les deux, un piedestaJ Oll
serait la statue du Roi a cheval avec le mot de
IJC)ll plus ultra, allusion a celle d'Hercule" (Chantelou, 1885, 96, August 13)· The project is
reAected in rhe medal of Charles VI of 1717
illustrated in Fig. 235 ( Koch, 1975-76, 59; Volk,
1966, 61 ); here, however, the equestrian group,
d1e pedestal, the columns, and the motto are all
returned to their traditional forms and reconverted to the traditional theme of Hapsburg
imperialism. For more of the legacy of Bernini's
idea, see n. 79 below.
Combinacory chinking as a means of superseding the monuments of antiquity also
underlies Bernini's a.lreniativc project for rhe area
between the Louvre and the Tuileries- a double
structure for spectacles and stage performances,
joining the Colosseum to the ThcaLer of Marcellus (Chantelou, 1885, 96, August 13) - perhaps reflected in a fo.ter project reproduced by
Del Pesce, LI Louvre, 1984, fig. 43; cE pp. 42,
49 n. 2.2.
79. A certain precedent is provided by Roman sarcophagi in which the labors of Hercules ;m
placed between columns with spiral fluting
( c£ Robert, 1969, pan l, 143££, pls. XXJVff.)
and in works like the Hercules fountain in the
Villa Aldobrandini at Ft'ascati, where water
descends around the pair of colwnns in spiral
channels ( D'Onofrio, 1963, figs. 78, 82., 86, 90;
Fagiolo dell'Arco, 1964, 82fE; R. M. Steinberg,
1965). The columns of Lhe Hapsburg device,
often shown entwined by spiraling banners, were
idencilled by Rubens CJ. R. Manin, 1972, pl. 37)
wirh the twisted colwru1s in St. Peter's in Rome,
supposedly brought from the Temple ofJerusalern by Constantine the Great; see also a painting of Augustus and the Sibyl by Antoine Caron
(Yares, 1975, 145, fig. 2.I). Yer, none of these
cases involved Bernini's clear and explicit conHation of the triumphal and Herculean columns.
Perhaps Bernini was himself alluding to the
pair of columns erected by Solomon before the
Temple of Jerusalem ( 1 Kings Tl4-22; 2 Cheon.
3=17); these were rm1uencly with the
twisted columns al St. Peter's, .m a.ssoaation that
had played an important role an Bernini's designs
for rhe crossing of Sr. Pertr's. ( Livin. &m1m,
1968, 4ff, 34; the paired columns of Perrault's
Louvre facade have been linked co the Temple of
Solomon by Corboz, 1984). Ifs<>, Bernini would
have been the first ro exi;end the association to
the 11Tlperia1 spirnJ columns, an idea thac was
then taken up by Fischer von in the St.
Charles Churc:h, Vienna, bu1lc for Ourles VI:
the prur of columns flanking the facade is identified in one source as Conscancy and Formude,
in reference ro rhc biblical names of Solomon's
columns, Jachin and Boaz, meaning ''He shaU
est.ilblish" and "Jn it i~ strength" (cf. Fergwson,
1970, l21ff.). ftSCher seems also to echo the
design and the themes of Giacomo Lauro's
reconsrrucaon of the ancient temple of H onor
and Virruc in Rome, to be discussed presently.
80. Kircher. 1650, 235(, also in Kircher, 1652-54, II,
I, 206 (cf. Godwin, 1979, 60). The relief had
been elaborately imerpreted by Girolamo Alran· in :a publication of 1616 (see Allen, 1970,
270-72). from wluch it was rtproduced md discussed rn our context by Dd Pcsco, 11 Louvrt,
c984, •+3> fig. u+ O n Kircher and Bernini, c£
Preimesbergcr, 1974, io2fE; R1vosccchi, 1982,
esp. 117-38; Del Pesco. Ll Louvre, 1984, r38f.
Kircher also wrote a book on the Piazza
Minerva obelisk ereeted by Bernini shortly afier
his rerum from Paris (H eckscher, 1947); in certain workshop stuilies for the monument the
obelisk is hdd up by allegoncal figures posed on
a rocky base (Brauer and Wirtkower. 1931, pis.
176, 177b; cf also D'Onofrio, 1965, fig. i34 opp.
P· i35).
Bernini's preoccupacion at rh1s period with
the theme of the rocky mounuin of virtue is
expressed also m a sencs of dowmgs of devotional themes, which evidently began during lus
sr.ay in Paris. The compositions porrray penitent
sames kneeling and ccstacically worshiping a crucifix that lies prone before chem; ill pomay the
event taking place atop a rocky peak. See Brauer
and Wittkower, 1931, 15JfE; Blunt, 1972.
81. Gamberci, 1659, 5, pl. opp. p. 190; cl Bmndsen,
1961, 134lt, no. 80, 219/f. The catafalque was
designed by Gaspare Vigarani, who beer built
the Sa.Ile des Madiines m rhe Tuilcncs and
whose son, Carlo, was m Paris as theater arch1teet to Louis XJV during Bemini'l> visit (Chan·
celou, 1985, 80 n. r39, 81 11. 144). Surmounred
by a trumpeting ligurc of Glory standing on a
globe md triumphanc over Death, the monu
menr also anticipated Bernini's norion of Glory
ac rhe summir of the earth as the reward for
vinue (sec pp. 170-72}
The projected equestrian monumeot to
Fr:incesco I is the subject of correspondence in
Juoe r659 published by Fraschetti, 1900, 226.
8.i. On cl1e I lapsburg device, sec E. S. Rosenrh.,I,
1971, 1974, and 1985, BU:. 257££; and Sider
( 1989). who scres.scs the spiricual .i.~crs.
83. &e mosr r~encly Kr.iuLhe1mer, 1983 and t98;.
84. Bernini recalls his project on cwo occal!ions
recorded in Chanrelou's Jiary: "11 a parle ensuitc
de la proposition qu'il :avait faite au Pape de
transporter la colonnc Traiane druis la place ou
est la colonne Anroniane, et d'y faire deux font.ames quc: cu.ssent baigne route la pl:tcc; qu'eUe
cur ece la plus belle de Rome· ( Chanc:dou. r885,
40, June 25); "Il a die qu'il av:Ut propose au
Pape de la rtansporcer daiis la place
l'Antoniane, et la. faire deux grandcs fontaines,
qui auraicn1 noye la place en et~; quc c'eut ct~ la
plus magnifique chose de Rome; qu'il repondair
de la transporter sans '3 garer" (Chancelou, 1885,
249, October 19).
A legacy of Bernini's idea, and an echo of his
linking ir to France, are evident in the pair of
monumenral spiral columns chat formed part
the rempornry decorations ereeted in the Piazza
Navona oo celebrate the birth of Lows XIV's
successor in r7z9 ( Kiene, c991).
85. The ancient tradition, admirably ~kccched by
Frazer. 1966, was revived m the palace architecture of chc popes in s1xtccnch-ccntury Rome, for
which see Com:trighr, 1990, u91f.
86. See Pastor, 1923-53, XXJ, 239«.; the inscripcions
are given in Caprini ct al, t955, 41£
Notes to Pages 117-180
87. O n the catafalgue, cf Bereodsen, 1961, uoff., no.
10, 166££ The columns are often shown rogerher
in the imagery of Sixtus V ( D'Onofrio, r965, fig.
63 opp. p. 149, fig. 89 opp. p. 187; Fagiolo and
Madonna, eds., c985, fig. on p. I99).
The temple (Lauro, 1612-41, pl. 30) is cited
by Dd Pesco, lL Louvre, 1984 r47£. and idem,
"Una fonte," 1984, 424E Lauro's rcconsr:ruction
had been compared to Bernini's Santa Maria dell'Assun ta in Ariccia by Hager, r975, 122f.; also
Marder; "La chiesa," r984, 268.
88. The force of the ecclesio-political associations
evoked by die columns is witnessed by another
project from the time of Alexander VU (published by Krautheimer, 1983, 206, and idm1, r985,
58f.) that envisaged making the column of
Marcus Aurelius the mast of a fountain in the
form of a ship- the navicella of Sr. Peter, the
ship of the church. Although related to a specific boar-fountain type (for which see Hibbard
and Jaffe, 1964), the project obviously revives a
proposal made by Papirio Barroli early in che
seventeenth century to create a choir in the
crossing of Sc. Peter's in the form of a ship
whose mast was a bronze version of the column
of Trajan, with reliefs of the Passion ( Hibbard
the statue, but he clearly understood the Bemim
project in the light of current political repercussions of the treaty. A confusing error by Vivanti,
1967, pl. 21e, concerning the print, was corrected
by Johnson, 40 n. 12.
91. M enestrier; 1662, r29£: "Il seroit souvent a souhaiter pour la gloire des Heros qu'ils missenr eux
mesmes des bornes volontaires a leur desseins
avant gue le Temps ou la Morr leur en fissent
de necessaires ... c'est cc grand Example, qui
doit faire admirer a tous les Peuples la moderation de noscre M onarque gui ayant plus d'ardeur
& de courage que n'en eurenr tous les Heres de
la vieiUe Grece & de Rome, a sceu retenir ces
mouvements genereux au milieu du succez de ses
victoires, & donner volontairement des bomes a
sa fortune ... Ce sera aussi. ce Trophee qui le
rendra glorieux dans l'hisroire de tous les siecles,
quand on spura que ce ieune conquerant a
prefere le repos de scs Peuples aux avantages de
Sa gloire, & sacrifie ses inrerests a la rranquiJJite
de ses S ujets."
The Lyon image, in tum, was evidently modeled in parr on Rubens's Arch of the Minr from
the l?ompa lntrofrus Ferdinandi Q. R. Martin, 1972,
pl. 99; and see McGrath, 1974). The motif of a
woman chai ned to cwo pillars was familiar from
zodiacal depictions of the constellation Androm-
and Jaffe, 1964, 164; Lavin, Bernini, t968, 43);
the spiral column also recalls the Solomonic
twisted columns that decorated the Constan-
riniao presbytery at St. Peter's.
89. Marchesi, 1660; the work was published under
the pseudonym Pietro Roselli. The importance
of Bernini's relationship to his nephew, first
emphasized by Lavin (1972), has been greatly
expanded by the recent studies of Marchesi's
ambitious project for a charitable hospice for
the indigenLS of Rome, for which Bernini's last
work, the bust of the Savior, became the emblem; sec the essays by B. Contardi, M. Lattanzi,
and E. Di Gioia, in Le immagini, 1988, 17ff,
272£f. (cf. p. 273 on Marchesi, 1660), 285££
90. Menesrrier. i66o, opposite p. 54. T he print was
fust related to Bernini's project by K. 0. Johnson, 1981. 33£. fo llowed by Petzet, c984, 443,
and Del Pcsco, Ii Louvre, i984, 150; Johnson drew
no implications concerning the: inte rpretation of
Notes to Pages 180-182
eda (Murdoch, 1984, 252f.).
Louis Xlille
Roy de France er de N avarre,
Apres avoir domptl. ses ennemis, donne la paix
A soulagc scs pcuples.
For the entire Inscription and its Latin pendant,
see Chantclou. 1885, 228, October 12, and, for
the ceremony, 240£, October 17; Chantelou,
1985, i.9of., 306.
93. Chantelou, r885, 219, October lO; on Le Brun's
paintings see Hanle, 1957, 93f.; Posnei; 1959,
240!{; Hartle, 1970, 393££, 4 01.fE, and idm1, r985,
109. Rosasco, x991, has shown that the same
ide.:i subsequently played an important role at
Versailles. For other aspects of the theme of
Alexander :is che self-conquering hero, see :ilso,
concerning an opera firs1 perfonned in Venice
1651, Oschoff. 196o; Straub. 1969,
94· The latest contributions concerning dUs project.
in which retercnces ro the earlier liCtr.1cure will
be found, are by
Marcie~ 'The Decision,"
85£; Laurain-Portemer, in F:igiolo, ed., 1985, 13/f;
and Kraucheimer, 1985, 99f£
95. The significance of the Peace oF the Pyrenees
may be deeper still. Menestrier (de constrained
to publish a whol.e volume (1679) tn which he
defended rhe king's Nu Pluribus lmpar emblem of
r662 against a claim that 1t had been used earlier
by Philip IT. Mcnm'rier was certainly right, but
it is no less clear that the device was invented as
a response, from Louis's new position of power,
to che Hapsburg claim to world dominion.
( Although he did noc connea 1t to the treaty,
K. 0. Johnson. 1981. 40 n. 17, also recognized
that Lows's device had Spanish connotaoons
from the beginning.) The Lyon tableau belongs
to the same context, and r suspect its rocky
mountains nuy be reffecred not only in the b~
of Bernini's equest:rUn starue but also in che
uoglimi of the Louvre itself. fhe Peace of the
Pyrenees and its implications were fundamental
to Bernini's conception of the S un King, and
linking the globe of the Nee Pluribus lmpar
emblem with the mountain of the Non Ultra
tableau provided the common ground for
the image he created in :tll three projeccs for
Lhe king.
In an exemplary scudy Ostrow, 1991, esp.
109ff. has emphasized the imporrance both of
the rivalry berween Spain and Fnince and of the
Peace of che Pyrenees in the history of d1c
statue of Philip IV in Santa Maria Maggiore.
designed by Bemim just before his trip co Paris.
96. See Berger, ln tlJ< Comlm, 1985, 72, 108 n. 25,
fig. IOU
iJ s'estimerai~ hcureux de finir sa vie a son
~ervice, non pas pour Ce qu'iJ etait un roi de
France et un gr.ind roi. mais parce qu'il avaic
connu que son cspric ecait encore plus relevc quc
sa condition" ( Chantelou, 1885, 201, October 5;
tr.l!lSlarion from Chancelou, 1985, 254, with
N •
98. See n. 10 above. Reurs-de-lys crown the cornice
of the central ov:il in the first project (Fig. 19~
for a discussion of the crown mocif. see Berga;
1966, 1731£, and rilnn, 1969, 29£): a coar of aons
appeats above the potul in the third project
(Figs. 177, 180 ); and '1curs-de-lys, monograms.
.ind sunbutsts appear in the frieze of the Stockholm version oF the third project ( Del Pesco, LI
l.ouvrt, 1984, 6g. 40 ).
99. "Nel prep:u:arsi del opere usava di pensare ...
prima all'invenzione e poi rillctLcva aJl'ordinazione delle parti, finalmentc :i dar loro perfe;,;ione di grazia, e Portava in cio
l'escmpio dell'orarore, il quale prima invenca, poi
ordina, veste e adoma" (Baldinucci, 1948, 145).
Bernini's is a simplified and more sharply fo.
cuscd vemon of the orator-pamter amlogy
drawn by Federico Zuccan: "E s1 come l'Oratorc ... prima invcnu, poi dispanc. oma, manda
a memoria, e finalmente pronuncia ... Casi il
buon deve. cons1der':ltt rutte le pacti delb
sua Pittura. J'invenrione. la dispositione, e la
compositione" (see Zuccan, 16o7. part II. p. 9:
f !elk.amp, ed., 1961, 229).
100. The rigor and astrigency of the project designed
m Paris seem to have been mitigated by the
modifications Bernini introduced after his rcrum
co R.ome, as recorded in dr:iwings preserved ar
Scockholm. Changes evident in the easr facade
(see also n. 98 above) include the following: the
naturaJ rustication is confined to the central block, and Lhc horizonlal joins in the stone
courses seem more cmpharic; the Hercules fig-
ures arc, they arc placed on regular
low plinths, and their poses arc more open and
"welcoming" ( c£ Dd Pesco, ll Louvn, 1984, 4ef.
n. 7, figs. 40-42).
w • • • fun- I panntggill1flfTlll Jt/ R), (, i crini Jt/ CmJ/o,
anm troppo ripirgalr, t trafa11.Juar Ji tptdla rrgol.a, cbt
hanno a Noi lasaaia gli 1t1111d:r Stultori, liberamence
rispose. Qau:s~ cht ... gli wruw 1mpulato I'" dffe110,
ess<r ii prrgio maggion dtl suo Sla/ptllo, con cui vinlo
hawwi la Jif!itolul J; rmtln' rl M1mno pregbcvo"lr comt la
etra ... E~ non haver cio fa110 gli anticbr Artefiti mer
jorst provtnuto dal 11011 haver 1010 dato ii (U01't di m11/m i
sassi cosl 11hbidirnrl nlla ma110, comt se stati fassero di
Notes to Pages l82-/86
pasta" ( Bernini, 1713, 149; c£ Baldinucci, 1948,
102. Bernini himself chose the position in the ante·
chamber of the king's new audience hall, on
October 13, a week before his departure
(Chantelou, t885, 23tf).
The idea of Paris surpassing Rome was expressed
by Bermn1 himself at his first meeting with the
king (cf p. 147 and n. r2 above) and was bruited
in a French sonner extolling Bernini and rhc
king (Chantelou, r885, r49, September 9).
Robert Berger (1966) has persuasively argued
that Bernini's first Louvre project, including its
characteristic drum-wirhour-dome rn~rif, doffed
its hat, as il were, co an ideal ch ~ceau design of
1652 by Antoine Lepautre.
The medal (for which see La Mldaillt, 1970, 81,
no. 116; Jones, r982- 88, II, 224ff., no. 239) was
inserced in the foundation scone along wich che
inscriptio11s mentioned above, p. 182 n. 92; it is
discussed several times in Chantelou's diary
(Chanrelou, 1885, t64, 168f., 215, 228f., 240,
September 16, 19; October 8, 12, 17).
C ureau de la Chambre, 1685, 23 ( c£ n. 65
above); Wittkower, 1961. 5n n. 61. 529.
Fabricii, 1588; rhe emblem to be discussed
appe::irs on p. 308. On chis emblem and ics sig·
nificance for the Quirinal palace, see Courtright,
1990, 128f.
108. Oe la .Rochefoucauld is portrayed on the
obverse; his devotion to rhe papacy was exemplary (see Pastor, 1923-53, XXVIII, 441; Bergin,
1987). The elevation of St. Peter's, which
includes Maderno's bell rowers, reproduces
Mattheus Greuter's 1613 engraving (Hibbard,
r971, pl. 54). The reverse is illustrated without
comment in Klil.hmann ti al., 1973, 2t9f., no. 351.
The reverse of the example in the Bibliotheque
N ationale, reproduced in Fig. 248, is inscribed T.
BERl-fARD. F. [sic], presumably the first medallist
of that name, who was active ca. 1622-65
(Forrer, 1904-30, I, 172£, VII, 74). It should be
noted char the Rochefoucauld medal repeats the
image of Sr. Peter's on a rock on the medal by
Caradosso of 1506 illustrating Bramante's project
for the new basilica.
Nous to Pages 18"6-191
Bernini explicitly recalled the piazza of SL
Peter's in his planning for the area between rhe
Louvre and the Tuileries as well as for that in
front of the Louvre (Chantelou, 1885, 42, July
1; 52, July 15). B. Bouchet (1981) has recently
suggested that Bernini's first design for the
Louvre reflected early projects by Peruzzi for
Sc. Peter's.
109. " ... egli sia stato fi:a' Primi . .. che habbia
saputo in modo unire assieme le belle Arri della
Scultura, Pirtura, & Architetrura, che di tutte
habbia fatte in se un maraviglioso composco ...
con uscir ta! volta dalle Regole, senza pero giammai violarle" (Bernini, 1713, 32£; cf. Baldinucci,
c948, 140).
for a discussion of Bernini's "wholisric"
views on m generally, see Lavin, &mini, 1980,
n o. On this project see Josephson, i928; Wirckower,
r961, 513£; H edin, 1983, 2u, no. 49; Souchal,
1977-, vol. G-L, 47£, no. 47; Weber, 1985,
19otf.; M. Marrin, 1986, 54-60.
111. Keller-Dorian, r920, I. 37ff, no. 30.; Kuraszew·
ski, 1974; Souchal, 1977-, vol. A-T; 186f., no. 25.
On the personification of "Gloria dei Prencipi"
holding an obelisk (Ripa, 1603, 189), see Peczet,
1984, 443·
See on this important point Berger, In the Carden,
1985, 63. The tradicional architectural pedestal
the work ultimately received was supplied by
Mattia de' Rossi ( Menichelia, 1985, 23£).
u3. There was a striking and well-known precedent
for such an interpretation of rhe theme in Rome
early in the century: Cardinal Scipione Borghese
had been compared co Marcu.~ Curtius, and
Bernini's father, Pietro, had portrayed che subject
by restoring an antique fragment for display ar
rhe Villa Borghese ( c£ D'Onofuo, t967, 2.08-<),
213, 255- 58; Haskell and Penny, 1981, 191-93)·
Though in a djfferent way, Wittkower also saw
the appropriateness of the Marcus Curtius
rhcme; see Wittkower, r961, 514.
II4. Strictly speaking rhis observation applies to
Guidi's group as weH: incidentally, Guidi hjmsdf
might be said to have metaphorized his portrait
of the king by transfonning the contemporary
armor shown in the model into classical costume
r) l'acte de vandalisme sur le Marcus C urtius
s'est passe dans la nuit du 5 au 6 juin 1980.
2) !es morceaux du cheval gui avaient ere arraches concernaiei1c: la queue, la criniere, la
patte avant droite, l'oreille droite er, pour le
cavalier un morceau du cimier et le menton;
avec bien sllr que1q ues epaulfrures supplementaires de moindre importance ... tout a ete
'recolie,' mais il nous manque malheurcuscment quclques petits eclats de marbre (pour
la queue ec l'ore.ille du d1eval en particulicr).
3) la presse franc;:aise a ete etrangement silencieuse sur ce trisce evenemenr. Voici malgre
tout trois references: Lts NouvelilS de Vmailhs, 11
juin et 3 septembre i980; Lt Figaro, r2 aour
1980; Le Mondt, 20 novembre 1980.
Mais il ne s'agit pas d'arcides importants,
seulement de bulletin d'information trl:s
courts. J'ai moi-meme evoque le sujet et les
problemes de restaurarion qu'il souleve clans
un anicle paru dans Monuments Historiques, no.
138, avril-mai 1985.
(c£ Seelig, 1972, 90).
The evident restraints on direct portrayals of
che king inside Versailles until about 1680, and
much more tenaciously in rhe garden, are emphasized by Berger. Versailles, 1985, 39, 50, 53, 55,
and bi the Cardm, 1985, 26, 64£
n5. Again , I am indebted to Berger for this perception ( Versailles, 1985, 39, 50, 87 nn. 104- 5).
n6. C£ Blunt, r953· 192, 279 n. 35·
u7. Cf Berger, Vmailles, 1985, 23, 25. My analysis is
merely an extension and refinement of Berger's
observation that rhe primary sources oF Le Vau's
Enve!oppe at Versailles were the Italian villa
type with terrace and Roman High Renaissance
palaces. French indebredness co Bernini later aL
the Louvre and at Versailles has also been
stressed by T:idgell, 1978, 54-58, 83 n. 121 and
1980, 327, 335·
u8. K. 0. Johnson, 1981, 33££ Our attention here
being focused in the legacy at Versailles of
Bernini's ideas for the Louvre, l will not pursue
possible relationships between the planning of
the chateau and other projects in which Bernini
had been involved- notably those between the
approach with twin buildcridentine aven ues
ings at the angles and the Piazza de! Popolo at
Rome ( most recently, Castex et al, 1980, 7ff., a
reference for which l am indebted to G uy
Walton). A similar arrangement was proposed
rn 1669 by Fran~ois d'Orbais for the approach
to the main facade of the Louvre (cf Chastel
and Perouse de Monrc!os, t966, 181, fig. 5 and
pl. V).
119. For what fo llows, see Puhringer-Zwanowecz,
t976. The author of the report to be discussed
was probably Lorenzo Magalocri, whose interest
in the Louvre is known from letters written to
hin1 by the painter Ciro Ferri on September 30,
1665, and February 17, .1666 (Bottari and
Ticozzi, 1822-25, Il, 47-52).
120. Chantelou, i885, 154ff., September 13.
121. I :un gre:itly indebted LO Simone Hoog of the
Musee Nationale du Chateau de Versailles for
photographs and the fo llowing information, in
The restored sculpture is now permanenc:ly on
display in the Grandes Ecuries.
On Bernini, the ami-Machiavcllian tradition,
and the prince-hero (p. 163), see Lavin, 1991.
T he anti-Machiavellian tradition, first defined by
Meinecke, 1924, has been sLudied by De Mattei,
1969 and 1979, and the theories of the chief
exponents in the sixreenth and seventeenth cenruries have been summarized by Bireley, 1990.
This development in the secular sphere had a
close and surely related corollary in the rheological principle of heroic virtue, essential in the
process of canonizing saints, first introduced in
1602 and elaborately formulated later in the century (for which see Hofmann, 1933; Encicloptdia
cattolita, r948-54, Ill, s.v. "Canonizza.zione," cols.
595f., 6o5£).
An important and p ioneering study by Keller
(1971) discusses the major European equestrian
monuments oF the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries in relation co conremporary political
theory, induding some of the writers who
belong in the anti-Machiavellian camp. ln che
Notes to Pages 19Z-l96
present contcxr, however, Keller's work has a
critical shortcoming: :tlthough his perception of
Bernini's inren1 ion is sound. Keller excludes Bernini's equesrrian Louis XIV as expressing 3Jl
allegorical conceit mther cl1an a political theory
(see pp. 17 and 6811'.). In fact, Bemint's innovaLton lay precisely m merging thesr two levels of
123. The sharpesc maque is chat of Colbert,
ttported by Chanrdou as the lasr entry m lu.s
diary, November 30, 1665, a f~w days afrer
lkmmi lefr for Romr (Chancelou, 1885, i64C).
Bauer righcly rcc:Jh the Gunpawder Plor m this
connection (rn Ch:tncelou, 1985, 37, )03).
124. The inversion and mor:t11zacion of convenrional
social values implicit in Bernini's attitude in die
official. public domain has irs counterpart in his
creation of die private caricature ponr:tir of
exalted and high-born personages (see Chapter 7
and Lavm. L990 ).
125. For a complete and thorough survey of ches1:
projects. cc O;iufTesnc. 1987.
126. The sources concerning clus proposal arc convcmendy gathered an Del Pcsco. ll louV'fl, 1984,
41£, 48 n. 22.
127. Bernini's comedy of two thearcr:s is described by
Baldinucci. 1948, 151, and Bernini, 171 j. 56.
.128. ln an interview Pei demonstrated to me (see Fig.
261) how he derived Lhc pyramid from the geomctoc configurauon of Le Notre's garden parterre of the Tuilerics.
1:z,9. The unportancc of :.1mpl1c1ry-opacn:yttansparency as Pei's way of relacing his pyramid
co rhe hmonc buildings of the Louvre has bren
obsen"Cd by S. Lavin. t988. The aanspuancy of
the pyramid was discussed in a fine paper by
Scephen L R.U)tow, 'Transpattnt Conlt':ldicuons:
Pei's Pyramid at the Louvre." delivered at die
1990 meeting of the Society of Archi1ectural
1w. See Hoog, t989, 57fE
131. The displacemenc of the statue on the g111nd axe
of Paris is also noted in a forthcoming paper on
tht" Grand Louvre by rlt'Ckner.
132. • ... i1 sommo pregio ddl'artdice (is) tl sapere
mvenrar mamerc per ~rv1rsi del paco, dcl cartivo
Nous to P.1gcs 196-208
e male admaco al b1sogno per far' cose belle c
for sl che sia utile quel che fu diferto e chc, se
non fusse, bisogncrebbc [ado'' (Baldinucci, 1948,
146; cf. Bernini 1713, 32).
7. Picasso's Litbograpb(s) ''Ile B11ll(s)" and tbt
History of Arr in Reverst
The ~ubsuncc of the di.scwsion of P1a.sso's pnncs was
presented mittally in Fehnnry 1986 at a meeting of
the College Art Associ:mon of America, m a session
which I organized together with Whitney Dav11> and
Jonathan Fineberg. The session was devoted co /\rt
without Hisrory and it:. significance for the m:un
stream or European, especially Modern, art. T his essay
is a p;ircner and sequel tO a lcngrhy paper on Bemini 's
caricatures first published in 1981 ( Lavm rl al, 1981)
and reprinted with additions in a volume published m
con1unct1on with an exh1biuon on High and Low .m
at the Museum of Mod.c m Art ' LaVln, ~High and
Low," 1990).
t. There is a subsrantial bibliography on pnm1uvism. beginning wirh rht> classic work of Lovcioy
and Boas, 1935: more rtccnt literature on pnmirivism in arr generally will be found m Encycfuptdia, 1959-87, XI. cols. 704-17. to whirh
should be added Gombrich, 1985, and, for lht>
modern period, Rubin, ed., 1985; Connelly.
1987; Lcightcn, 1990. Ocher doma111s of artwithouc-hisrory and clieir relations to sophiMicated an have yet to receive' a comprehensive
treatment. The development of interest m the
arr of die insane, 111 particular. has now been
srudicd III an exemplary fashion by MacGregor,
2. On the Olynthus mosaics, sre Salzmann, 1982,
~· Ci1cd by M. L. H :idzi in Lehman, t982, 312.
4. T his last is rhe insighrful suggestion of Tronzo,
1986. The ide::i hnd been explored with re:.pec1
to classical liter:iry style by Gombrich, 1966.
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