Bust of Cardinal Melchior Klesl 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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Art and religion were great influences during the 17th century and due to the connection between Gian Lorenzo Bernini and the Catholic Church, most people commissioned his works of art.

One incredible work of art executed by the young sculptor was the bust of Cardinal Melchior Klesl. Because he shared the same religious values with those in the Catholic faith, he was able to execute his work with great attention to detail. In 1626, Bernini made a life-size bronze bust of seventeenth-century Cardinal Melchior Klesl. Bernini executed this piece of art with the help of his assistants especially Giuliano Finelli. The bust of Cardinal Melchior Klesl is located at the Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary, Wiener Neustadt.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini would often bring a rare energy to his sculptures. He incorporated the Mannerist and Renaissance sculpture strengths to his unique ability to create sculptures that are emotionally themed. Working with religious themes was something that Bernini loved and he especially loved to capture the moments that featured heightened emotions. His style was known as the Baroque style of sculpture and he was credited for developing this style.

Sculpture was his most significant field and he also made contributions towards drawing, architecture and painting. Bernini had a reputation for being so creative. He was always looking for new ways to challenge himself. Invention was part and parcel of Bernini and his mind was able to deliver anything he focused on at any particular moment.

Bernini's work on the bust of Cardinal Melchior Klesl and other sculptures earned him a lot of respect among his peers. At one time, a respected scholar said that he was the Shakespeare of his artistic medium. Most sculptures were designed to be viewed from multiple angles but Bernini designed his sculptures to focus on specific locations.

This ensured that the entire sculpture would only be viewed from one angle. He loved choosing religious themes for his work and that is why the bust of Cardinal Melchior Klesl did not come as a surprise. The great result of his work came through great study and creativity. He would spend time studying his subject not only to acquire the right pose but also to capture the mood and the spirit of the subject. Bernini once said that it is not enough to simply make a piece that resembles the subject. He was driven by the idea that it was important to represent what went on in the head of the heroes. It was clear that he considered Cardinal Melchior Klesl a hero.

When it comes to the history of art, so many artists have been undervalued because of their work not being recognized. On the other hand, works of art by other artists gets overrated. Gian Lorenzo Bernini's work stands out and is on a level of its own. The credit given over the years is duly deserved. Bernini’s contributions to the field of art are placed on the same level as Caravaggio, Peter Paul Rubens, Poussin, Velazquez and Rembrandt. Bernini does not currently receive the same level of attention that he received in the past, however, this is likely to change in the future.