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Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Angel with Superscription (c. 1667-1668)

For Artwork in Focus we explore individual artworks, critiquing their style and discussing their socio-political context. Today we look at Angel with Superscription (1491) by Lorenzo Lotto.

About the Work

Title : Angel with Superscription
Artist : Gian Lorenzo Bernini
Year : c. 1667-1668
Medium : Terracotta
Dimensions : 28.9 x 17.1 x 13.8 cm (11 3/8 x 6 3/4 x 5 7/16 in.)
Location : Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

According to the digital catalogue of the Harvard Art Museums :

“Bernini created the bozzetti of standing angels holding the instruments of the Passion while designing the marble angels on the Sant’Angelo bridge that crosses Rome’s Tiber River…Enlivened by their pose and drapery, these angels exemplify Bernini’s masterful manipulation of light and shadow.”

Sculptures and paintings depicting angels were in demand in 17th century Europe, owing to the spread of Catholicism. However, the works of the Italian master Bernini were particularly sought after.

Other Details

Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Angel with Superscription is housed in the Harvard Art Museums in Room 2520. It is part of the museum’s collection of European Art, 17th century. The work was bought by the Fogg Art Musuem in 1937.


To learn more about iconic artworks and their socio-political context, visit Artwork in Focus.

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