Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius (1618-19) by Gianlorenzo Bernini

Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius - Gian Lorenzo Bernini - 1618-19

Artwork Information

TitleAeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius
ArtistGian Lorenzo Bernini
Dimensions(2.2 m)
Current LocationGalleria Borghese, Rome

About Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius

The sculpture Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius was created by Gian Lorenzo Bernini around 1618-19. The masterpiece depicts a scene from the Aeneid where Aeneas leads his family out of the burning Troy. The sculpture shows three generations of Aeneas’ family, namely Aeneas himself, his father Anchises, and his son Ascanius.

This artwork is housed in the Galleria Borghese museum in Rome and is considered one of Bernini’s early masterpieces. He created it when he was only 20 years old. The sculpture depicts Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius fleeing the burning city of Troy. Anchises is carried on Aeneas’s shoulders, while Ascanius carries the sacred fire of the hearth. Some historians argue that Bernini may have received help from his father, who was also a sculptor.

Cardinal Borghese, a patron of Bernini’s early works, supported this series that shows Bernini’s progression as a sculptor. This sculpture highlights Bernini’s skill in capturing lifelike movement and emotional intensity, which he became famous for later in his career. Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius are dynamic figures that capture the tension and urgency of the moment, and the sculpture is a testament to Bernini’s talent and early success.

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