Apr 24

Flowing, Firm: Nature and Mastery in Bernini's Braids with Karen Lloyd

Wed, April 24, 2024 • 5:00pm - 6:00pm (1h) • Boliou 104
Gianlorenzo bernini, ratto di proserpina, 1621-22, sculpture

An Edwin L. Weisl Lectureship in the Arts sponsored by the Robert Lehman Foundation with support from Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini's terrorized nudes, Proserpine (1621-1622) and Daphne (1623-1625), each have a single ornament: a braid. Emerging from masses of hair, their braids twist and unravel, wind and bind. They have gone largely unremarked, yet they are dense with meaning that is bound up with gender, power, and materiality. In their form, braids evoke the play of surface and depth in sculptural creation. Their fluidity is a challenge in the firmness of stone, one that evokes early modern ideas of the natural origins of marble and of its relationships to potentially liquid materials like bronze. Teased from women's hair, braids invoke issues of desire and decorum. Bernini's braids speak to a sensual understanding of the matter of marble that is frequently overlooked in favour of a dematerialized or spiritualized vision of the sculptor. This talk examines Bernini's braids as an expression of sculptural ambition in which marble is transformed without losing its significance as stone.

Dr. Karen Lloyd is an Associate Professor at Stony Brook University's Art Department. She specializes in Italian Renaissance and Baroque art. Focusing primarily on papal Rome, her work traces the socio-political dynamics of art patronage, production, and reception.

from Art & Art History

Event Contact: Jessica Keating

Event Summary

Flowing, Firm: Nature and Mastery in Bernini's Braids with Karen Lloyd
  • Intended For: General Public, Students, Faculty, Staff, Emeriti, Alums, Prospective Students, Families
  • Categories: Lecture/Panel

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