…If you want to know the era and type of architecture, it’s Baroque. But the term Baroque, and similar categorizations, do little for me to understand the merits of a specific work of art. It’s like saying a song is in the genre of rock n’ roll. For any real fan of music, that alone tells us very little. It’s a broad category. It does little to help us distinguish gold from fool’s gold.
I try to evaluate artworks both within their time period and beyond their time period. And regardless of the historical wishes of the patrons who commissioned this work, it appears Bernini was intent on portraying ecstasy – regardless if the ecstasy came from spiritual or sexual, Heavenly or Earthly, or tactile or cognitive sources or stimulations.
The sculpture is a congress of the spiritual and the sexual. The sculpture may often confuse those who wish only to see the spiritual. And the sculpture may put a knowing expression on the faces of those who have experienced the sexual, the physical – the rush of tactile, emotional, and coital intoxication.
The sculpture has been placed above a floor where death is clearly below …