Artibus et Historiae no. 79 (XL)

2019, ISSN 0391-9064

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IRVING LAVIN - The Silence of Bernini’s David (pp. 11–21)

The essay offers a radically new understanding of the form, expression, and meaning of the young Bernini’s masterpiece, notoriously a self-portrait. In the 38th psalm, David, speaking in the first person, laments his transgressions and vows that he will mend his ways. He promises not to sin with his tongue, and to keep a bridle on his mouth while the sinner is before him. Bernini may have been influenced by the Commentary on the Psalms by the great Jesuit theologian Robert Bellarmine.

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