Blessed Soul Gian Lorenzo Bernini Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Gian Lorenzo Bernini executed the Blessed Soul, a notable bust, around 1619. The Blessed Soul by Gian Lorenzo Bernini is also known as Anima Beata in Latin.

The bust is a pendant piece to another piece completed by the artist known as the Damned Soul. In this artwork, Gian Lorenzo depicts a redeemed soul that raises its head and looks towards heaven. The expression in his face is a sign that he is a blessed soul who has seen God’s grace. As a result, he is sufficient with the inner beauty and peace that comes from within.

Naturalism helped the artist put gentle features on the bust to show an inner beauty. The parted lips and large eyes are an indication of the innocence that Gian Lorenzo wanted to portray. Also, his technique was unique in this work because he wanted to depict the opposites in specific works. This is the reason the Damned Soul and the Blessed soul are linked together as the creativity utilised to complete the busts was almost similar.

Throughout his career, Gian Lorenzo held with high regard the Baroque style as evident in most of his sculptures. He utilised the same style in the Blessed Soul, and it adds to the list of many Baroque arts completed by the artist leading to veneration in the arts community. The material utilised to create the Blessed Soul by Gian Lorenzo Bernini is marble. He is fond of using marble in some of his previous works, and the results have been beautiful pieces recognised throughout the world. This is the reason Gain Lorenzo is a notable figure in art, and many artists followed in his footsteps specifically in producing notable sculptures.

Like the previous bust done by the artist, it is reckoned that Cardinal Pedro Foix de Montoya commissioned Blessed Soul by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Also, the Cardinal contacted him to complete a bust for him since he was impressed by the previous work. The original location of the Blessed Soul by Gain Lorenzo Bernini was the church of San Giacomo degli Spagnuoli. In this church, the portrait was treated as sacred. Afterwards, it was moved to the Spanish Embassy in the 19th century before the officials settled for Holy See. The current location of the sculpture is Holy See located in Piazza di Spagna, Rome where it is accessible for viewing by the public.

The Blessed Soul by Gian Lorenzo may not be one of the artist’s finest works, but it has inspired other artists to create sculptures. On this theme, Gian Lorenzo inspired notable artists like Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Massimiliano created two busts similar to Gian Lorenzo’s to represent the psychological states of a redeemed and condemned soul. This was to depict two identical but opposite busts created by the original artist. So, most people have come to learn about the Blessed Soul and Damned Soul together as the two art pieces are related to each other.