Blessed Ludovica Albertoni
There’s not enough I could ever say about Gianlorenzo Bernini. He truly is my favorite sculptor and every time I see one of his pieces, no matter how often I’ve looked at it before, I always marvel at what he is able to accomplish with texture, light, and emotion. These are things that continue to be an influence for me while I take my photography. This particular sculpture is one I’ve been meaning to shoot for quite some time. In fact, I attempted to get it this summer but there was a mass being held in the church and I didn’t have the proper lens. A lunch appointment in Trastevere yesterday gave me the excuse to photograph this sculpture, located in the church of San Francesco a Ripa. It’s one that many tourists probably don’t bother to stop in, as it’s on the quieter side of Trastevere and isn’t perhaps as “known” as some of the other churches in the area. For those of you that are St. Francis buffs, he was said to have spent some time lodging here and you can even have one of the priest’s let you into his cell next door if you find them and ask. I did that several years ago and it was quite interesting.
But, back to the sculpture. The Blessed Ludovica Albertoni was completed a little over 20 years after the Ecstasy of St. Theresa, to which is shares many similarities. This makes perfect sense, as both St. Theresa and Ludovica Albertoni (who was made a saint about 140 years after her death) were known for experiencing religious ecstasies. My friend who was with me yesterday remarked that she couldn’t believe the light I’d gotten in the little chapel and I replied that it wasn’t due to me, but Bernini’s expert use of a window on the left side of the chapel. He created the sculpture knowing that it would allow light to rain down on her face and create a beautiful mix of light and shadow. I recommend highly that you see it for yourselves in person. I also highly recommend that you check out two other detailed shots I’ve posted to my Flickr one emphasizing her face and the other her hand as it presses into her chest.