BERNINI, Gian Lorenzo
(b. 1598, Napoli, d. 1680, Roma)

Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius

Marble, height 220 cm
Galleria Borghese, Rome

The group sculpture Aeneas and Anchises represents Aeneas fleeing from the burning city of Troy bearing his elderly father Anchises on his shoulders, and his son Ascanius carrying the sacred fire of the hearth, while Anchises holds the 'penates' or family household gods. The twenty-one-year old Lorenzo Bernini, still influenced by his father Pietro's late sixteenth-century tower-shaped compositions, executed this group between 1618 and 1620, but many experts believe that this is mainly his father's work.