This essay extends recent debate on the performative aspects of art objects and the performance of spectators in viewing them. Seventeenth-century commentators attributed lifelike qualities of speech and movement to Bernini's sculp tures. This article focuses on his Apollo and Daphne, the work that established his international reputation. Using contemporary literary sources, including poetic evocations of the Borghese collection, guidebooks, diaries and biographies of the artist, it examines Bernini's theatrical conception of sculpture with specific reference to this early work. It considers Bernini's illusionistic means for engaging bodily and verbal responses on the part of his viewers, which in turn gave seeming movement and voice to his works.
|Number of pages||29|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|