Échec à la berninienne: Le Buste de Richelieu, une nouvelle approche

Translated title of the contribution: Bernini's "failure", the Richelieu bust. A new approach

Sefy Hendler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Richelieu's bust by Gian Lorenzo Bernini has long been a source of a both admiration and confusion. Considered a masterpiece from the first moment, it was nonetheless judged by its contemporaries (Mazarin) as lacking the necessary resemblance to the model. Yet a comparison between the bust (Louvre) and the painting by Philippe de Champaigne (National Gallery, London), on which it was based, reveals a marked resemblance between the two. This article strives to resolve this ambiguity, not addressed by scholars up to these days. First by locating the origins of the Champaigne painting sent to Bernini in the "Paragone" debate between painting and sculpture. Then with an analysis of the unique sculpture theory of Bernini that led to a fatal misunderstanding between the painter's aspirations and the sculptor's needs.

Translated title of the contributionBernini's "failure", the Richelieu bust. A new approach
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)59-69
Number of pages11
JournalRevue de l'Art
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


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