In 1673, Bernini was commissioned by Pope Clement X to design gilded figures of the twelve apostles and the Risen Christ to crown the tabernacle of the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Peter's Basilica. Working from Bernini's designs, Giovanni Rinaldi made the models. Girolamo Lucenti, the bronze founder, had problems casting the Risen Christ, and the initial bronze cast had a flaw across its chest. This cast, now partially repaired and in the Walters' collection, was left in a rough state. The model was recast, gilded, and installed in St. Peter's. Christ's idealized body recalls ancient sculptures of the sun-god Apollo, praised as having a perfect physique. His striding pose is beautifully balanced while his ascent toward heaven is suggested by the deeply carved, fluttering drapery, seemingly responding to an invisible wind and creating a strong play of light and shadow. Bernini was the greatest sculptor of his age. He imbued figures of both metal and marble with an unsurpassed sense of life and motion.


  • Title: The Risen Christ
  • Date Created: 1673-1674 (Baroque)
  • Physical Dimensions: h44 cm
  • Type: statuette
  • Rights: Gift of C. Morgan Marshall, 1942, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
  • External Link: The Walters Art Museum
  • Medium: bronze
  • Provenance: Henry Walters, Baltimore [formerly in the Baltimore office of Henry Walters] [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; C. Morgan Marshall [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1942, by gift.
  • Place of Origin: Rome, Italy
  • ExhibitionHistory: The Sculpture of Gianlorenzo Bernini. Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth. 1982; The Taste of Maryland: Art Collecting in Maryland 1800-1934. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984; The Allure of Bronze. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1995; Going for Baroque. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1995-1996; Vatican Treasures: Early Christian, Renaissance, and Baroque Art from the Papal Collections. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland. 1998; A Magnificent Age: Masterpieces from the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte. 2002-2004
  • Artist: Gian Lorenzo Bernini

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