Gian Lorenzo Bernini

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pen and ink drawing of exterior of ornate building with columns and sculptures

Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1589–1680)
The Louvre, East Façade (study for the First Project)
Pen and brown ink
Samuel Courtauld Trust: Blunt Bequest, 1984

In 1664, Bernini took part in a competition to design the east façade of the palace of the Louvre in Paris, which Louis XIV wished to complete. This freehand drawing shows Bernini's initial proposal for the façade, featuring a central oval pavilion. Bernini's unusually animated design was rejected in favor of Claude Perrault's plan for a linear row of columns on a raised pavilion.


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