An Elephant in Rome: Bernini, The Pope and the Making of the Eternal City
Friday 8 October
Lord Leycester Hospital
Journalist, TV presenter and food-brand creator Loyd Grossman’s latest book draws on a lifelong interest in history, the arts and heritage.
In 1655, a new Pope – Alexander VII – fired with religious zeal, political guile and a mania for building, determined to restore the prestige of his church by making Rome the must-visit destination for Europe's elite. To help him do so, he enlisted the talents of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, already celebrated as the most important artist of the age. Alexander VII and Bernini made one of the greatest artistic double acts in history, inventing the concept of soft power and the bucket-list destination. Their creation, Baroque Rome, is grand and beautiful, comparable to the Classical splendour of the Rome of Emperor Augustus.
Join Loyd as he shares with you the intertwined strands of history, power and art that make up the Eternal City, and how it came to be a city that continues to delight and attract.