Devolutions of the Sacred – Berini, Asam, and the Baroque Non-Unity of the Visual Arts

Thursday, October 6, 2011
Stafford Auditorium  –  7:00pm 

Join Peter Burgard, PhD, Professor of German, Harvard – Faculty Associate of the Minda de Gunzberg Center for European Studies – Director of Graduate Studies 

Baroque art is a total art that unifies all the plastic arts. Or so we have been told. Bernini’s Cornaro Chapel is considered emblematic of such unity. Unity, we are given to understand, both expresses and grounds the religious intention of Baroque sacral art and architecture. In this lecture on the Cornaro Chapel and on the Asam borthers’ St. Johann Nepomuk in Munich, one of the greatest examples of Baroque sacral architecture north of the Alps and a work in which Bernini’s aesthetic resonates to an extraordinary degree, Professor Burgard argues that unity is precisely what is not achieved in the combination of the various arts and that the emphatic non-unity of both works reflects their desacralizations of the sacred. 

Event co-sponsored by the Departments of French/Italian and Art and Art History. 

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