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Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598–1680)
Portrait of Sisinio Poli, 1638
Black, red, and white chalk, on light brown paper
Inscribed on paper attached to lower edge of drawing, in pen and brown ink, Eques Laurentinus Berninus / Die vigesimo octavo Aprilis 1638 / Delineavit / Effigies Sisinii Poli anno aetatis Suae / Decimo octavo.
10 5/8 x 8 1/8 (addition 2 7/16 h.) inches (270 x 207 mm; addition 62 mm)
Gift of J. P. Morgan, Jr., 1924; IV, 174
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Bernini made numerous finished chalk portraits intended as independent works of art. This sensitively rendered likeness bears an uncommon inscription identifying the sitter as Sisinio Poli, depicted on 28 April 1638 at the age of eighteen. At this time Poli was Writer of Apostolic Letters under Pope Urban VIII and active as an amateur artist in the circle of Francesco Barberini. Bernini was later to construct and decorate for Sisinio the Poli family chapel in San Crisogono, Rome.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.