Cornaro ChapelRome; S. Maria della Vittoria, left aisle
Patriarch Federico Cornaro (G-17) acquired the chapel rights in
January 1647 and commissioned its design and execution by Giovanni
Lorenzo Bernini, 1647-52. Janson in History of Art describes
Bernini [p. 410] as "the greatest sculptor-architect of the century"
and proclaims the Cornaro Chapel "his masterpiece."
The centerpiece is The Ecstasy of S. Teresa di Avila, a large statue [height 3.5m] designed to be illuminated by reflected light from a hidden window. The statue depicts a remarkable mystic experience related by S. Teresa herself:
The figures of S. Teresa and the angel are seen upon a stage, witnessed by Cardinals and Doges of the Cornaro family looking on from flanking balconies.
The chapel is decorated with stuccos and frescos executed by Guidobaldo Abatini to Bernini's design.
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