Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Gian Lorenzo Bernini was an Italian sculptor and architect. While a major figure in the world of architecture, he was and more prominently, the leading sculptor of his age, credited with creating the Baroque style of sculpture; as one scholar has commented, "What Shakespeare is to drama, Bernini may be to sculpture: the first pan-European sculptor whose name is instantaneously identifiable with a particular manner and vision, whose influence was inordinately powerful...." In addition, he was a painter and a man of the theater: he wrote and acted in plays, for which he designed stage sets and theatrical machinery. He produced designs as well for a wide variety of decorative art objects including lamps, tables and coaches; as an architect and city planner, he designed secular buildings, churches and public squares, as well as massive works combining both architecture and sculpture elaborate public fountains and funerary monuments and a whole series of temporary structures for funerals and festivals.

His broad technical versatility, boundless compositional inventiveness and sheer skill in manipulating marble ensured that he would be considered a worthy successor of Michelangelo, far outshining other sculptors of his generation. His talent extended beyond the confines of sculpture to a consideration of the setting in which it would be situated. Bernini was born in Naples in 1598 to Angelica Galante and Mannerist sculptor Pietro Bernini from Florence, he was the sixth of their thirteen children. Gian Lorenzo Bernini was the definition of childhood genius, he was “recognized as a prodigy when he was only eight years old, he was encouraged by his father, Pietro. His precocity earned him the admiration and favor of powerful patrons who hailed him as ‘the Michelangelo of his century’”. In 1606 his father received a papal commission and so moved from Naples to Rome, taking his entire family with him and continuing in earnest the training of his son Gian Lorenzo. Several extant works, dating from circa 1615-1620, are by general scholarly consensus, collaborative efforts by both father and son: they include the Faun Teased by Putti, Boy with a Dragon, the Aldobrandini Four Seasons, the discovered Bust of the Savior.

Sometime after the arrival of the Bernini family in Rome, word about the great talent of the boy Gian Lorenzo got around and he soon caught the attention of Cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew to the reigning pope, Paul V, who spoke of the boy genius to his uncle. Bernini was therefore presented before Pope Paul V, curious to see if the stories about Gian Lorenzo's talent were true; the boy improvised a sketch of Saint Paul for the marveling pope, this was the beginning of the pope’s attention on this young talent. Once he was brought to Rome, he left its walls, except for a five-month stay in Paris in the service of King Louis XIV and brief trips to nearby towns for work-related reasons. Rome was Bernini’s city: “‘You are made for Rome,’ said Pope Urban VIII to him, ‘and Rome for you’”, it was in this world of 17th-century Rome and the international religious-political power which resided there that Bernini created his greatest works. Bernini's works are therefore characterized as perfect expressions of the spirit of the assertive, triumphal but self-defensive Counter Reformation Roman Catholic Church.

Bernini was a man of his times and religious, but he and his artistic production should not be reduced to instruments of the papacy and its political-doctrinal programs, an impression, at times communicated by the works of the three most eminent Bernini scholars of the previous generation, Rudolf Wittkower, Howard Hibbard, Irving Lavin. As Tomaso Montanari's recent revisionist monograph, La libertà di Bernini argues and Franco Mormando's anti-hagiographic biography, Bernini: His Life and His Rome, illustrates and his artistic vision maintained a certain degree of freedom from the mindset and mores of Counter-Reformation Roman Catholicism. Under the patronage of the extravagantly wealthy and most powerful Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the young Bernini rose to prominence as a sculptor. Among his early works for the cardinal were decorative pieces for the garden of the Villa Borghese such as The Goat Amalthea with the Infant Jupiter and a Faun. Other allegorical busts date to this period, including the so-called Damned Soul and Blessed Soul of circa 1619, which may have been influenced by a set of prints by Pieter de Jode I but which were in fact unambiguously cataloged in the inventory of their first documented owner, Fernando de Botinete y Acevedo, as depicting a nymph and a satyr, a paired duo in ancient sculpture.

By the time he was twenty-two, Bernini was considered talented enough to have been given a commission for a papal portrait, the Bust of Pope Pau


Bjørnskinn is a village in Andøy Municipality in Nordland county, Norway. The village of Bjørnskinn lies along the southern part of the island of Andøya, about 2 kilometres northwest of the larger village of Risøyhamn; the village is the site of Bjørnskinn Church. The village was the administrative centre of the old municipality of Bjørnskinn which existed from 1924 until its dissolution in 1964. Helmer Hanssen, Polar explorer, on the expedition of Roald Amundsen to the South Pole Johan Kleppe, Member of Norwegian Parliament from Nordland and defense minister in Korvald's Cabinet Augustinus Johannessøn Sellevold, Fisherman-farmer, twice elected as member of the Norwegian Parliament from Nordland Picture portfolio of Bjørnskinn

Georgy Pashkov

Georgy Pavlovich Pashkov was a Russian artist known for his work in interior design and graphics. He designed the first postage stamps of the Soviet Union in 1923. Georgy Pashkov was born in 1886; the Pashkov family, a family of iconographers in Moscow, had a high reputation for decades and had the patronage of the Imperial family. Georgy Pashkov and his brothers Pavel and Nikolai graduated from the Stroganov Art School and became successful Moscow artists, they were appreciated as decorators. The Pashkov brothers participated in a number of important decorating projects supported by the Russian Royal Family. In 1912, Georgy Pashkov with his brother Nikolai decorated the lower church of the Feodorovsky Imperial Cathedral in Tsarskoye Selo. In 1914, they painted frescos in the Church of the Icon of the Mother of God Joy to All the Afflicted for the Community of the Sisters of Charity of the Red Cross in Tsarskoye Selo. For this work, they received the honorary title of Court Artists. Another field of the Pashkovs' artistic activity was commercial advertising.

In particular, Georgy Pashkov created a significant number of advertising posters in the pre-World War I times. In 1923, Georgy Pashkov created the design of the first USSR stamps. First USSR stamps Media related to Georgy Pashkov at Wikimedia Commons