A Faun Teased by Children 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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A Faun Teased by Children is the disruptive masterpiece of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The Baroque artist captures a dynamic and highly expressive scene in great details of fine and sharp forms.

Bernini was only 18 years old when he executed this astonishing work of art. The artist implements his father's style in the composition of this sculpture through buoyant movements and cotton-like texture of the different surfaces. However, the diagonals and liveliness of the statue are the sole touches of Bernini.

The sculpture dating to 1616-1617 was the first evidence of Bernini's lifelong talent in rendering spiritual and emotional acclaim. It shows the young artist's interest in Bacchic motives. The sculpture comprises 4 figures carefully contoured and captured in a dynamic setting.

Bernini creates an intense expression of all 4 characters and portrays their facial features with distinctive forms. The faun appears in an upright position with his head tilted back as though he surrenders to the children's play. Two children interact with him and grab his hair, creating a strong liveliness to the entire scene. The third child appears at the base of the sculpture, creating a distinct symmetry.

Bernini uses incredible details to contour the environment where the scene is unfolding. With a play of spherical and linear forms, Bernini combines static and dynamic elements. Also, the intense detailing of the faun's body, which is shown in a diagonal manner and highlights his muscular composure, contributes to the sculpture's animation.

Not only are the figures in motion, but they're also immersed in the moment. Nothing can disturb the peaceful and joyful game between the faun and the children. Bernini isolates the figures from the fundamentals of the time's society. It's the artists escape from the downfalls of the period. The sculpture is a clear mirroring of Bernini's imagination which refuses to be disturbed by contemporary issues.

The marble composition of the sculpture suggests the artist's respect for the subject matter. All of Bernini's works dedicated to noble subjects comprise of marble materials. A Faun Teased by Children appears registered in 1706 in the House of Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the estate's inventory. Other sales followed such as to the Palais Galliera in Paris (1972), Christie's (1973), the Art market in Switzerland (1975) and finally to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1976.

A Faun Teased by Children is displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The dimensions of the sculpture stand at 132.4 cm x 73.7 cm x 47.9 cm. The work of art includes the contribution of Bernini's father, Pietro who uses buoyant and highly detailed forms in creating the environment where the figures interact. The 3 children and the faun appear in dynamic and intensely expressive movements. The sculpture suggests the fauns surrender to the innocent game of the children. It's Bernini's testimonial towards the importance of breaking away from the time's reality into an imaginary world filled with play and joy.