This famous sculpture was made in Rome, and Bernini started making it in 1671 and finished it in 1674. The sculpture was commissioned by the Church of San Francesco a Ripa in Rome. Then, it was placed in the left part of the church, in the Altieri Chapel.
This is a sculpture made with only one material: marble. It represents Ludovica Albertoni, a roman noblewoman who lived a pious life, and who worked to the poor of Tratesvere neighborhood under the San Francesco Church, where she was buried in 1533. This woman is represented on a mattress in the moment of mystical communion with God, that’s because he’s got her hand in her chest and that exhausted face. She’s represented with clothes similar to nun’s. This sculpture is so realistic: the face of Ludovica shows an state of ecstasy because her soul is gathering with God. In his sculpture, concentrates a lot of light. Bernini thought in everything: he designed an architectural setting that focuses attention and light in the sculpture. There is a painting behind the sculpture painted by Baciccio.
As is a Baroque sculpture, we observate the following features:
- · The sculpture represent movement: it represents the movement of Ludovica Albertoni while she’s reuniting her soul with God.
- · The sculpture cause a sensation of emotion because it represent a fleeting moment: it’s a very unsual position because the movement is due to divine nature, and for that it causes us emotion.
- · We can observate curved lines over all the sculpture but above all in the Ludovica Albertoni’s clothes.
- · The sensation of movement in the sculpture is intensify by cloth folds over all the sculpture. They are recognized easily, for that we have a big sensation of movement when we see at first sight the sculpture.
There is another interesting information about the sculpture:
Bernini lasted so much in finishing this famous sculpture, from 1671 to 1674. Three years. This was due because he concentrated the majority of his work in other two works: The Tomb of Pope Alexander VII and The Altar of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Peter’s Basilica.
Here there is a portrait of Bernini:
Other sources used: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blessed_Ludovica_Albertoni