The Power of Art

Speaking of aesthetics, if you haven’t watched the BBC series “Simon Schama’s The Power of Art” you should. It’s wonderful. My favorite episode, which you have here, is on Italian sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680). I was very much into art when I was young. In high school I was intended for a career in animation and half my high school years were spent at a vocational technical college (in addition to my regular high school classes) studying commercial and advertising art. I remember thinking as a young teenager that Michelangelo was surely the greatest sculptor of all time. After all, there’s nothing like his Pieta. But then I met Bernini and the transfer of my affections and opinion from Michelangelo to Bernini was instantaneous. Call it a conversion experience if you want. Call it a beatific vision. But there was no going back. I remember staring at Bernini’s work for long periods of time, drawing them myself over and over. (I was interested in theology even then!)

The 11 minutes he spends on Theresa of Avila in Part 4 worth listening through the entire four episodes.


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