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The Cover
August 5, 2009

Bust of Marsyas

JAMA. 2009;302(5):469. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.985

The sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) was in the vanguard of a 17th-century movement that made art more accessible and more emotional. In Rome, theatrical altars and elaborate fountains were constructed in public places such as churches and plazas, where they could be experienced by anyone. On an emotional level, sculptors began to emphasize human action and expression in their stone carvings. To connect with the audience of common people by creating sculptures that looked alive, to elicit empathy for the artist's subject while bringing the most intimate of its emotions to public view: this was the challenge accepted by Bernini and his successors, one of whom was Balthasar Permoser (1651-1732).

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