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Bernini, Gianlorenzo

Bernini, Gianlorenzo (1598–1680) Italian architect and sculptor. The outstanding personality of the Italian Baroque, his work combines astonishing, flamboyant energy with great clarity of detail. His architecture was splendid in conception, lavish in use of marble and dramatic lighting, and often grand in scale. As the favourite of several popes, he was given unparalleled design opportunities. His large-scale commissions in and around St Peter's include the baldacchino (canopy) above the high altar (1633), Barbarini Palace (1638), Cathedra Petri (1657–66), and (from 1656 onwards) the great elliptical piazza and enclosing colonnades in front of St Peter's. Bernini, more than any other architect, gave Rome its Baroque character.;

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