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Gianlorenzo Bernini (1598—1680) Italian baroque sculptor, painter, and architect



Cardinal Alessandro Albani (1692—1779)

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A representation in sculpture of the beautiful youth of this name who was a favourite of the emperor Hadrian. After Antinous was drowned while accompanying Hadrian up the Nile in ad 130 his name became surrounded by romantic legend, and the grief-stricken emperor commemorated him in lavish fashion. He founded a city called Antinoöpolis in Egypt (near the spot where Antinous had died), erected temples in his memory, and had him honoured in festivals. Antinous was frequently represented in sculpture, sometimes as Apollo or Dionysus, and several examples survive; typically he is shown with curly hair and a sad-sweet expression, although the identification is not always certain, and the title ‘Antinous’ has sometimes been given loosely to similar figures of beautiful and graceful youths. Particularly famous were the Belvedere Antinous (Vatican Mus.), which was regarded as one of the standards of male beauty (for Bernini's views on it, see Antique), and a relief excavated at Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli in 1735. It was one of the greatest treasures of Cardinal Albani and was regarded by his librarian Winckelmann as one of the peaks of ancient art; it is still in Albani's villa in Rome, now renamed the Villa Torlonia.

Subjects: Art.

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