BERNINI, Gian Lorenzo
(b. 1598, Napoli, d. 1680, Roma)
Angel with the Superscription1667-69
Marble, over life-size
Sant'Andrea della Fratte, Rome
One of the last major projects by Bernini was the angels for the Ponte Sant'Angelo in Rome. Planned and executed between 1667 and 1669, the suite of eight, and subsequently ten, angels was designed by Bernini for Pope Clement IX as an embellishment to the ancient Roman Pons Aelius, which formed the principal link between the Vatican and the city. The major sculptors of the day were chosen to carve individual statues of the angels, each holding an instrument of the Passion of Christ, with two reserved for Bernini himself: the Angel with the Superscription and the Angel with the Crown of Thorns. The rare qualities of these two statues persuaded Clement IX to keep them inside, copies were placed upon the bridge.