Bernini’s Beloved

My brilliant sister Sarah has a new and astonishing book.


“Enthralling. . . . McPhee’s book is rich in historical detail, and truly an original contribution that will be welcomed by scholars, students, and general readers.”—Elizabeth Cropper, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art

“A highly original work by an accomplished and enterprising scholar, Bernini’s Beloved offers a compelling, untold human story. It shows us the lively 17th-century Roman art world from a novel perspective, that of a woman. . . . It will be welcomed by anyone interested in art, artists, gender, and the social history of Rome during the flourishing of the baroque..”—Elizabeth S. Cohen, York University

Bernini’s Beloved will definitively change the way people look at Bernini’s portrait of a woman who turns out to be the descendant of a Pope. . . Sarah McPhee argues that Bernini used his utmost artistry to convey Costanza’s divine dignity as a new Venus, reconciling the background of this remarkable statue with its evident value in artistry and materials. The whole picture, for the first time, makes eminent sense.”—Ingrid Rowland, University of Notre Dame

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